THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT – March 2018 – Newcastle Uni – REVIEW and PHOTOS

The Temperance Movement – 4th March 2018 – Newcastle University Students Union

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

TTM take to the stage silhouetted in red light. Even before the first note is struck frontman Phil Campbell is a ball of energy, throwing shapes and the band kick into Caught In The Middle quite aptly as it is the opening track from their latest album; A Deeper Cut, which plays a big part in tonights’ set.

In fact, the first four songs tonight are from the new album but that’s fine with the Toon crowd and rightly so as it’s a cracking release! Love and Devotion sees the guys joined by Thomas and Oliva Wynn, who along with the Believers opened up the night and made a lot of new fans (check em out they are class!). The added vocal just brought the song to life so much.

The Temperance Movement - 4th March 2018 - Newcastle University Students Union. Thomas and Oliva Wynn

The Temperance Movement – 4th March 2018 – Newcastle University Students Union

I was surprised there were only three songs from White Bear in the set maybe because they’d been out touring it so much the last couple of years, who knows but the title track Three Bullets and Battle Lines are a strong trio to represent the album.

It’s the new album that has the lions share of the set though but the guys haven’t forgotten what got them noticed in the first place and five songs from their debut including fan favourite Only Friend remind everyone what first made their ears prick up!

The Temperance Movement - 4th March 2018 - Newcastle University Students Union

The Temperance Movement – 4th March 2018 – Newcastle University Students Union

The band are tight as always and the twin guitar work is just searing BUT it’s Phil Campbells’ voice that gets me every time I see them I’d say he is one of the best rock vocalists around at the minute and in time will be hailed a classic up there amongst the greats of the blues-rock world.

The Temperance Movement - 4th March 2018 - Newcastle University Students Union - Phil Campbell

The Temperance Movement – 4th March 2018 – Newcastle University Students Union

He is also a brilliant frontman engaging the crowd and his moves are second to none. These guys are gonna be around for some time they have what it takes to stand the test of time. Looking at the crowd in Newcastle tonight they’ll certainly always be welcomed here

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PUPPY – March 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy – PHOTO FEATURE

Puppy – 11th March 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

You know that saying a band is only as good as their drummer? Well if that’s true Puppy are the bees knees! I arrived just in time to catch their opening set with Turbowolf


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ARCANE ROOTS – Sage Gateshead – Feb 2018 – FEATURE

Arcane Roots – 27th February 2018 – Sage Gateshead

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

I’ve absolutely gutted that this gig coincided with the freakiest weather we have experienced in ages causing chaos on the roads! Not only did traffic and conditions make me miss most of the supports but I also had to bail early from Arcane Roots due to weather worsening! I can’t really review the gig properly because of that. BUT can say the time I was there the band were absolutely on fire! The latest album Melancholia Hymns has become of my favourite releases of last year and the tracks I heard tonight were just blistering.

Anyway here’s a load of photos that I took whilst there I love the way they use the lights to create shadows and silhouettes hope you do to.

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MOOSE BLOOD – March 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy – FEATURE

Moose Blood – 6th March 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

With a new album a few days away from release, it was a gamble going out on tour including seven of the songs from it. However, the gamble paid off as the crowd lapped the new songs up like excited kids at Christmas!

It’s still great to see the band laughing, still not really believing it when the whole crowd take over the verse of Bukowski 3rd song in. The rest of the set is split pretty 50/50 between the first two albums giving the fans every opportunity to lose their voices and by the end of the set there are dozens of folk up on shoulders arms to the sky absolutely lost in the songs.

This is probably their biggest headline tour to date and watching tonights’ reactions not the last!

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Earthless – Black Heaven

Review by Neil Ainger

For the past 17 years the power trio from San Diego, California have been at the forefront of the modern day heavy psych scene, crafting long and complex instrumental psychedelic jams. The warped and roaming wizardry of guitarist Isaiah Mitchell (Golden Void, Howlin’ Rain) and the unshackled and commanding drumming of the brilliant Mario Rubalcaba (OFF!, Hot Snakes, Rocket from the Crypt) helps to harness the raw power of the Jimi Hendrix Experience while calling back to the likes of Leaf Hound, Flower Travellin’ Band and Amon Düül II.

Throughout their first 3 full length records, the band have offered mostly a series of instrumental cosmic jams between 15 and 30 minutes in length and very, very rarely have the band stepped outside of this formula – until now.

Four of latest release Black Heaven’s six tracks have Mitchell taking the mic and the longest track is just shy of 9 minutes in length. This is a very different Earthless and, as someone who loved the band exactly the way they were and never once pondered the introduction of vocals, I’d have to say the changes are very welcome. It certainly isn’t a case of out with the old and in with the new. Earthless, at their core, remain a tripped-out space rock band and Mitchell still wields his guitar with a swirling, abstract ferocity, however Black Heaven more clearly embraces a number of “classic” and blues rock influences and a more conventional approach with defined and organised choruses and verses.

One of the lead singles and the album opener, Gifted by the Wind, is reminiscent of the great Eddie Hazel ripping some killer solos over a Thin Lizzy track and the riff-heavy Electric Flame is a concise and incisive blues number that quickly spins out in to a fuzzy, euphoric trip the band have become known for.

Mitchell taking the mic is actually nothing new and while his vocal duties within Earthless have been very occasional, outside of the band he has frequented the mic. On Black Heaven his vocals are, at all times, authoritative and authentic. Rubalcaba’s drumming is as masterful and as dynamic as ever and with the wandering basslines of Mike Eginton (especially on the combustible title track) to complete the trio, Earthless’ greatest quality is perhaps their understanding and skill and I’d go as far as to say they have never sounded so tight. When you consider the switch to a more conventional approach, the embracing of a wider range of their influences into their sound and the more accessible nature of the record, it should attract fans of ZZ Top and Led Zeppelin just as much as those of Acid Mothers Temple and Boris and therefore should, you would imagine, be their biggest success to date.

Black Heaven is out 16th March 2018 on Nuclear Blast Records




Desert Storm – Sentinels

Review by Neil Ainger

With the release of 2015s Omniscient, I felt as though Desert Storm grew, though their output to that point was impressive in its own right. 2010s Forked Tongues was the first Desert Storm album I heard, having picked it up at a gig in 2012 where the band were supporting Karma to Burn.

The follow up in 2013, Horizontal Life, is not without merit either. There was something just that little bit different about their third release however. Whether it’s the better record of the three is up for debate but for my money it was just that little bit more accomplished, more focused. It was a band learning from their experiences and becoming more adept at doing justice to their explosive live shows in the studio.

On stage Desert Storm are loud and they are heavy. On stage Desert Storm carry with them an arrogance and a swagger befitting the meaty riffs and the gravelly tones of Matt Ryan’s voice which combine to create the sleazy, boozy and bluesy stoner sound the band have adopted over the last decade.

With Omniscient, the band continued down this path but were happy to stop off a little more along the way to reveal more strings to their bow and with the new release Sentinels, the band have simply taken one more step forward in this regard. Sentinels, simply put, is the band’s most seasoned and polished effort to date, as well as their most penetrative work lyrically.  

The opening track Journey’s End and the accompanying video explore the issues of mental health, depression and anxiety followed by Too Far Gone, which tackles alcohol abuse and addiction. Heavy topics for sure, set to heavy music. Journey’s End sports perhaps some of the band’s biggest and meanest sounding riffs yet and Too Far Gone breaks down into a blackened groove amid Elliot Cole’s frantic beats. Together, they really send the message that Desert Storm are still here and are still heavy however they’re not entirely unchanged in the three years that have passed between studio albums.

Don’t get me wrong, if you’re a fan of Desert Storm you won’t be pulling out your hair or penning any angry letters. The trademark bouncy, bluesy riffs of The Drifter sound as though they would fit perfectly on the band’s debut album and the likes of Gearhead, The Extrovert and Convulsion all feel very familiar. They do all however sound that little bit more fresh and full of colour, thanks in part to Jamie Dodd who recorded and mixed the album. His previous work with Orange Goblin is the perfect experience to make this band sound as heavy and as brutal as possible. The growth in the band can be measured mostly by the track Kingdom of Horns. Beginning delicately with clean, ethereal vocals, the near 8 minutes that follow are an epic, melodic journey to every corner of the band’s musical make-up and back again, a journey the likes of which Desert Storm has never truly taken before.

For a band that all have jobs also, it’s kind of hard to imagine where they get the time to put out four records in 8 years and to tour as often as they do. Desert Storm work hard, seemingly in all aspects of their lives, and their work ethic is not without reward. Sentinels is the bands most accomplished, most skilled and, simply put, best record to date.

Sentinels is released 16th March 2018 on APF Records.

Desert Storm - Sentinels


Conjurer – Mire

Review by Neil Ainger

Conjurer are a band that have been making a name for themselves the tough way, through hard work and touring. Following the release of their first EP ‘I’ in 2016, the band hit the road at every opportunity and were met with praise and open arms seemingly everywhere they went. Frustratingly, I was never able to attend a local show whenever the band came through Newcastle, and at Damnation Festival in Leeds I was able to see the extent of the praise the band are receiving when I simply was not able to even get anywhere near the stage on which they were performing. Conjurer, many will tell you, are the real deal.

Conjurer - Mire
The 4 piece from Warwickshire have created such a stir over the last 18 months or so that they already feel like a trusty piece of the UK extreme metal furniture and it is actually rather odd to think that this is the band’s debut full-length release, because it sometimes feels as though they have been around for much longer than they have. At times a band can take a few records to find their feet, and other times a debut album can become so anticipated that it’s very difficult for it to be anything other than a disappointment. On this occasion, neither of these scenarios is true of Mire.

Brady Deeprose (guitars/vocals) has been quoted as saying, of their approach to making the record “Once you start thinking about songwriting in terms of genre, you’re automatically setting up barriers between parts” and this outlook is really laid bare. The band visit death, doom, sludge, black and beyond while some post-rock-style sections blend the frequent and abrupt mood swings of the record together seamlessly. At times the resulting sonic assault sparkles in an atmospheric glow, while always being destined to viscously return to depths of misanthropic bleakness and Converge-like violence.

Opening track Choke offers a slow burning introduction to what lies ahead with repetitive, chugging sludge riffs and restrained, minimal drum beats before taking the first of many sharp turns of pace and hinting subtly at the album’s probing and exploratory nature.

The longest track on the record, Thankless, clocking in at 8 and a half minutes, immediately launches into a fury of driving blastbeats yet swerves through melodic choruses backed by clean backing vocals and back again with an expertise you won’t find on many debut efforts.

All of the differing influences perhaps converge best during the brilliant Of Flesh Weaker Than Ash. For over 7 expansive minutes the band’s ability to intelligently craft charming melody, interrupted by sudden and impactful brutality, while blending tight and technical instrumentation, is expertly encased in arguably the band’s most profound statement to date.

Believe the acclaim and embrace the hype because Conjurer have created a debut album way beyond their years and the scary thing is that this band is only going to grow stronger with every show they play, and unless they show any signs of slowing down then the sky could really be the limit in the coming months and years.

Mire is released 9th March 2018 on Holy Roar Records

Conjure Bandcamp store

MYLES KENNEDY talks about his new album – AUDIO INTERVIEW

Myles Kennedy talks about his new album; Year of the Tiger

Listen to the full interview below…


A special thank you to Oli at AC Promotions for providing the audio on this one.

Year of the Tiger is out on 9th March 2018!

MYLES KENNEDY talks about new album - AUDIO INTERVIEW

SUMO CYCO head to Think Tank – GIG NEWS

The remarkable Sumo Cyco are heading out on tour including a stop in Newcastle

They’ll appeal to fans of Marmozets, but their sound goes way beyond that pigeonhole!!!

Tour dates are;

14.03 – Chester, Live Rooms
15.03 – Milton Keynes, Craufurd Arms
16.03 – Sheffield, Corporation
17.03 – HAMMERFEST Wales, Pwllheli 
19.03 – Newcastle, Think Tank
20.03 – Glasgow, Audio
21.03 – Manchester, Rebellion
23.03 – Bridgwater, Cobblestones
24.03 – Birmingham, Asylum 2
25.03 – Bournemouth, Anvil
26.03 – London, Boston Music Room
27.03 – Southampton, Talking Heads

DESERT STORM talk about Sentinels LP and tour plans – INTERVIEW

Neil Ainger talks to Desert Storm about Sentinels LP and tour plans

I first saw Desert Storm live in Trillians, Newcastle with Karma to Burn and Druganaut in 2012, and then again with a similar line-up at The Cluny in 2014. You’ve shared stages with countless other great names in metal now. Who’s been your favourite to play with so far?

Ryan – They were cool shows for sure, Karma To Burn are always fun. We’ve had cool shows with Orange Goblin, Honky, Corrosion of Conformity and Weedeater to name a few. 

Your fifth album Sentinels is released on March 16th, your first release on APF records. Having been playing the hell out of it this past week I’d have to say this is your best, heaviest and most assured record to date. What can you tell us about the writing and record process and everything that went into making it?

Chris B – We set out with the intentions of creating a more consistent sounding, consolidated body of work. Lyrically the album touches upon more personal issues and subjects closer to us. Lyrics like this help people relate a bit more I think, as perhaps some of the issues they are dealing with too.

Ryan – Musically the album was written the same way we have always worked. Starting around a guitar riff myself of Chris has conjured up and if the rest of the band are enjoying it, we end up jamming it and adding more ideas until we have some kind of structure. Whilst the music is being rehearsed Matt will sit writing lyrics and contemplating vocal melodies….these will all be laid down last. 

As for recording most of the record was recorded with Jamie Dodd (Orange Goblin) in Hackney London at Flesh and Bone Studios, except Journeys End! We wrote this after and really wanted it on the album, but recorded that in Oxfordshire at Wordworm studios (where Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath sometimes records) with Steve ‘Geezer’ Watkins.

Opening track Journey’s End and the accompanying video touch on addiction, mental health and suicide. Are these issues important to you as a band?

Chris B – I think mental health is an issue that we all resonate with as a band and something that needs to be recognised. 

Ryan – It was a way of creating awareness, which is very important. Many people suffer from issues such as depression, anxiety, paranoia etc, including some of us personally. It’s important people can relate and seek help if required.

It’s no surprise that the new record sounds as brilliant as it does considering it was recorded and mixed by Jamie Dodd. Given his work with Orange Goblin, he must really understand what it is you’re aiming for?

Chris B – It was a really fun process working with Jamie Dodd, as he challenges to push ourselves of be more creative with our production, without being too intrusive.

Ryan – Yeah Jamie was great. It’s always nice when you work with an engineer that is also willing to suggest ideas to help bring some tracks to life. 

The tour for the record has begun. You’re off around Europe and have more dates back in the UK in July and August. What can fans expect from the live shows?

Ryan – Yes, currently in Czech Republic whilst we do this interview! The tour has been great and the new material is going down very well! Selling a lot of the new record too! Everyone can expect very loud riffs and lots of the new tracks in the set, as well as old stuff!

Another big UK support tour announced very soon for June as well. Keep your eyes peeled!