JOHN FAIRHURST | 14.11.2018 | Newcastle Cluny | REVIEW and PHOTOS

JOHN FAIRHURST | 14.11.2018 | Newcastle Cluny | REVIEW and PHOTOS

John Fairhurst – 14th November 2018 – Newcastle Cluny – Review and photos

Feature by Graeme J. Baty

John Fairhurst – 14th November 2018 – Newcastle Cluny

John Fairhurst returned to Newcastle performing alongside highly skilled percussionist Toby Murray. They make a formidable duo, with Toby’s drumming driving and propelling the songs to another level.

Set highlights include a storming version of Breakdown and the Hendrix blues jam vibes of I’m Coming Home. Hungry Blues calls on the ghost of Dr John, proving that Fairhurst is a powerful vocalist with deep gravelly tones that would sound more at home in the Delta than from good old England.

John Fairhurst – 14th November 2018 – Newcastle Cluny

John is probably the greatest British bluesman around at the moment and the few who were here tonight were richly rewarded. I have to admit being utterly bored by the likes of Joe Bonamassa, whilst technically highly impressive it lacks that important factor; the feel and that’s what John Fairhurst has in spades whilst remaining technically a great player. What’s more perplexing is the popularity of those types of acts when the real raw and powerful blues music seems to slip mass attention, it’s an unjust world I suppose.

There is more to follow from John and his band, they’ll be back in 2019 with the release of their long-awaited album after a short break to spend time with his family. It’s been such a long time since I heard a good blues band and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I’ll make damn sure I catch him on the next tour!

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CAPE CUB | JOYYA | 29.10.2018 | The Cluny | REVIEW and PHOTOS

CAPE CUB | JOYYA | 29.10.2018 | The Cluny | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Cape Cub and Joyya – 29th October 2018 – The Cluny

By Victoria Wai (Victoria Wai)

It felt like a triple headliner with this gig as Shamu bought in heavy synth-rock sounds then contrasting with their electro-pop were duo Joyya and contrasting yet again was headliners Cape Cub bringing dream-pop to a packed out Cluny.

I have seen Cape Cub a few times now and each time they just seem to get bigger – and that’s not only in crowd numbers but also in the whole production. Before they started the crowd was ecstatic and to add to the intensity the house lights go a deep blue as Chad and the band echo with Keep Me In Mind then into their latest single Moonglow. Every song delivered is catchy. Watching the band interact on stage, coupled with the light show it felt euphoric. It did not feel like we were in this intimate space of The Cluny.

I believe I have said this before but Cape Cub are definitely made for bigger venues so catch them in these small ones while you can. They always play with such conviction and their interaction with the audience whether if it is through personal shout-outs or just in the feel of their lyrics is something to be witnessed. They end with their biggest hit to date, Flowers, and although you want more (and there were chants from the whole room for more) they always seem to end the show on the perfect high, that even if they didn’t come back, you are left knowing that you got the value of true musicianship. 

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REEL BIG FISH | 06.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

REEL BIG FISH | 06.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

Reel Big Fish – 6th November 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Kevin Burdon (Kevin Burdon Photography)

Reel Big Fish returned to Newcastle O2 Academy with Less than Jake. Kevin Burdon was there to capture it!

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KOLARS | 02.11.2018 | Newcastle Head of Steam | REVIEW and PHOTOS

KOLARS | 02.11.2018 | Newcastle Head of Steam | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Kolars – 2nd November 2018 – Newcastle Head of Steam

By Victoria Wai (Victoria Wai)

‘She dances on the drums!’ I actually knew nothing more than this of Kolars when I heard of them back in May but unfortunately could not see them. This played on my mind since then so when I saw they were in town when I was I just knew I had to see them. I played their debut self-titled album on the run-up to the show and got more and more excited and to secure a photo pass for the show was an extra bonus. 

Showtime came and the excitement went up to 12! Kolars have a strong following and every space on the floor was filled. The intensity of their music overtook my finger clicking on the shutter of my camera. I wanted to capture that excitement the best I could. Lauren and Rob played with such intensity and such passion. It was hard not to get caught up with every second.

While Lauren tap danced and banged those drums, Rob duetted with some members of the crowd and even got into the crowd. It was one big party and it was a wonder how Lauren and Rob kept up the energy while we were watching in awe of their energy. Kolars are infectious not only on the ear but also visually and a whole new experience is brought to life having their desert disco, glam-a-billy and space blues around, no matter if it is your first time or your twentieth time seeing them play live. 

If ‘dancing on the drums,’ is enough to get you to see Kolars then put them in your list of ‘100 things to do before you die,’ or even if you just saw that Kolars are playing, you should prioritise them as they are not to be missed now that you have read it here. 

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CARL STACEY PROJECT | 30.10.2018 | Newcastle Trillians | PHOTOS

CARL STACEY PROJECT | 30.10.2018 | Newcastle Trillians | PHOTOS

Carl Stacey Project – 30th October 2018 – Newcastle Trillians

Feature by Graeme J. Baty

Here’s an extended photo gallery from CSP’s latest gig!

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LORD HURON | MALENA ZAVALA | 28.10.2018 | Gateshead Sage | REVIEW and PHOTOS

LORD HURON | MALENA ZAVALA | 28.10.2018 | Gateshead Sage | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Lord Huron and Malena Zavala – 28th October 2018 – Gateshead Sage

By Victoria Wai (Victoria Wai)

I’m not going to lie, I attended this show as soon as I saw Malena Zavala as the support. She came to my attention when I was seeing another band play at the Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen last August and she blew me away with her hypnotic sounds of dreamy vocals and extended instrumentals. I also caught her at Hit The North and The Great Escape earlier in the year with a bigger band and on this night she was stripped back to a three-piece band who we were told had only been like that a few weeks prior and it felt tight. The whole set was stunning and they had captured the hearts of those in attendance.

Onto the main act, Lord Huron. If it wasn’t for Malena, this band would have slipped through my hands, so thank you Malena! I was pretty much blown away and caught up with the energy of the standing area of Hall One. They filled up Hall One with intense energy with their Indie Rock sounds tinged with blues. Lead singer Ben Schneider moved freely when he could cross from one side of the stage to the other and sometimes losing his hat through the sheer passion in his performance.

You could feel this passion in the other members too but they were more stuck into their positions. And if lights are your thing when you go to gigs then a Lord Huron show will not let you down as it was one of the most spectacular light shows I have seen and with the added smoke it added to the intensity of one of the most stunning shows I have seen in this venue – from support act to main act – this night had it all. If you were like me and this was your first experience of Lord Huron or if you have yet to experience Lord Huron, take it from me, you will NOT be disappointed both musically and visually.

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LESS THAN JAKE | 06.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

LESS THAN JAKE | 06.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

Less Than Jake – 6th November 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Kevin Burdon (Kevin Burdon Photography)

Less than Jake returned to Newcastle O2 Academy with Reel Big Fish. Kevin Burdon was there to capture it!

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ZEBRAHEAD | 06.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

ZEBRAHEAD | 06.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

Zebrahead – 6th November 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Kevin Burdon (Kevin Burdon Photography)

Orange County legends Zebrahead hit the Academy on tour with Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake. Full photo gallery by Kevin Burdon!

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SOUL II SOUL | 04.11.2018 | Gateshead Sage | PHOTOS

SOUL II SOUL | 04.11.2018 | Gateshead Sage | PHOTOS

Soul II Soul – 4th November 2018 – Gateshead Sage

Soul II Soul - 4th November 2018 - Gateshead Sage
Soul II Soul – 4th November 2018 – Gateshead Sage

By Gav Wyatt (G.Wyatt photography)

Soul II Soul celebrated a huge milestone with their 30th Anniversary. Gav Wyatt was there to capture the spectacular show!

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MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST | 09.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST | 09.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Michael Schenker Fest – 9th November 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

Michael Schenker Fest - 9th November 2018 - Newcastle O2 Academy
Michael Schenker Fest – 9th November 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

Michael Schenker brought his mammoth festival to Newcastle on Friday and wowed the crowd with a 2 hour 30 minute set of both classics from his past projects and new material.

I’ve always loved Michaels’ guitar work and it was a privilege to witness him up close doing what he does best!


He strode out to a huge reception and opened up with the Scorpions track Holiday from the Lovedrive album. On paper an odd choice as it’s almost a ballad BUT it actually set the mood perfectly with the crowd singing along with him from the go!

Then introducing the band members they went into the UFO anthem Doctor Doctor with vocalists Graham Bonnet, Robin McAuley, Doogie White and Gary Barden (all of whom have been in past incarnations of the Michael Schenker Group) taking a verse or line each. You’d think it was the last song of the night the fun that the band were having, on only second song in!!

The rest of the night was then split into mini sets with each singer taking the spotlight to air some their past with the group and put their own slant on some of the songs Michael is renowned for. Ted McKenna and Chris Glenn from the classic MSG line up were as always the perfect rhythm section and Steve Mann provided second guitar and keyboards!

The “sets“ were pretty evenly spread through the night and a couple of big numbers saw all four taking centre stage again BUT the focal point was Michael Schenker himself! He was on absolute top form recounting tales of how and when he had written songs when in his teens and his playing was just out of this world the tones and technique with those riffs and solos were just sublime!

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