ALICE IN CHAINS | 16.06.18 | Leeds O2 Academy

ALICE IN CHAINS | 16.06.18 | Leeds O2 Academy

Alice in Chains – 16th June 2018 – Leeds O2 Academy

Even before the lights finally go out the chants of “Jerry, Jerry, Jerry” are frequent throughout the O2 tonight so when the band arrive there is a suitably massive roar to welcome them! Alice In Chains are here in the UK for just two dates before they head to European festivals. They could have easily played the larger, less intimate venues but in many ways I’m glad they didn’t.

They open with Bleed The Freak which for a lot of bands would be an odd choice being a slow-burning number, but not AIC nor their fans as it sets everyone up for a classic night visiting tracks from every release they have made. That riff from Check My Brain still hits me like it did on first listen and I think it’s as good as any “big” song they have written in the past As I said they play something from every release but the set leans very heavily towards Facelift & Dirt (4 & 5 songs respectively) and that suits the crowd just fine ! Them Bones & Dam That River still sound just huge and the lighting rig /video wall just adds to the intensity of the two. It’s hard to believe how long William Du Vall has actually now been fronting the band (12 years I believe) but he has certainly earned the respect of fans and critics alike especially on some of the more subtle lesser paced tracks like No Excuses and Nutshell.

Jerry Cantrell is absolutely on top form though nailing every solo and riff almost effortlessly and his harmony vocal as always shows just how much of the AIC sound was down to him as well as Layne.

This is no disrespect to the people of Leeds as the crowd were class but at one point (I think it was We Die Young) they went so mad that for a split second I almost made the note “this Glasgow crowd are as up for it as ever” there were probably a good few folk who had travelled for the gig (lots of Toon pals definitely made the trek) but even so it was a sweaty lively lot!

The band were in a great mood and Jerry even led a quick jam of Halens’ Running With The Devil but the double hit of It Aint Like That and Man In The Box just hit all the senses bringing the main set to a close

Returning to the stage William breaks into a verse or two of Summertime Blues and being an old codger I smiled wondering if it was a nod to The Who’s Live at Leeds album where they absolutely kick the shit out of that track πŸ™‚

A four-song encore saw the new song The One You Know being aired and if it’s an indication of the album to come then sign me up as it fits right in with the rest of the set no bother. That familiar bass line of Would? once again had the throng singing their hearts out but they all still had enough left in them to boom out the melody of Rooster to finish the night off in style.

I hope the new album sees a return for a full tour as I know they can easily fill more than just two venues in the UK but as my sweaty knackered old body left the O2 I had a massive smile on my face happy that I managed to get to this one.

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SUPERCHUNK | 27.05.18 | Stereo Glasgow

SUPERCHUNK | 27.05.18 | Stereo Glasgow

Superchunk – 27th May 2018 – Stereo Glasgow – Review and photos

Lately, I seem to be saying ‘I never thought I’d get to see these!’ a lot in my reviews. Superchunk are another bucket list band of mine, they rarely play the UK and I’d quite honestly thought there’s no way I’d ever get to see them! Well, maybe London one day but as a gig destination, it’s far from my preference. There’s just something about those audiences, they get so many great bands thereΒ that they don’t always appreciate it, spoiled for choice I suppose? Well, I couldn’tΒ believe my luck when this tour popped up! They announcedΒ Glasgow and Leeds shows! Sadly poor financesΒ denied me from going to bboth, so I opted for Glasgow. Glasgow is one of the best gig cities on the planet in my opinion. The audience are always well up for a party and I love wandering around the city with my camera in hand. So, Glasgow, it is!

We had the added bonus of Rev Magnetic being added to the bill, so I ensured I was down early to catch their set. The left me a bit overwhelmed, genre-wise they don’t really fit in with the headliners but that doesn’t matter. Musically they are something remarkable, denselyΒ layered and I think their music will be more relatable with repeated listens. They went down really well with punters.

Superchunk dropped a surpriseΒ album earlier this year; What A Time to Be Alive. Songs from it will feature heavily on the setlist tonight, alongsideΒ some stone-cold classics as requested by fans.

Opening with Hyper Enough the energy and sheer joy they have for playing is inspirational, putting bands half their age to shame! I danced all the way through the set. There’s something infectious about their sound and it is a delight to witness. Mac McCaughan stalking the stage with his energy and charisma enticing the audience to sing along.

It is the new material that really grabs my attention. It’s a really strong album and shows absolutely no signs of the band slowing down. They have much life left in them yet. Break the Glass stands out as an instant classic, fans down the front singing along word for word.

Setlist;

  • Hyper Enough
  • What a Time to Be Alive
  • Reagan Youth
  • Lost My Brain
  • Learned to Surf
  • Package Thief
  • Seed Toss
  • Animated Airplanes Over Germany
  • Black Thread
  • Hello Hawk
  • Break the Glass
  • Erasure
  • Driveway to Driveway
  • The First Part
  • Me & You & Jackie Mittoo
  • Slack Motherfucker
  • Digging for Something
  • Cloud of Hate
  • Fishing

I stayed down the front for the entire set, normally I’d retreat after a few songs but I was glued to the spot and having the time of my life. Glad I did as it allowed me to get this shot at the end Jon Wurster and Mac sapped duties for the outro to Fishing, adding a medley of cheesy cover songs which had everyone in stitches!

Thank you Superchunk for playing here. You’ve made some fans very very happy! This will easily make my top ten gigs of the year and I’ll remember it for years to come πŸ™‚

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REV MAGNETIC | 27.05.18 | Stereo Glasgow

REV MAGNETIC | 27.05.18 | Stereo Glasgow

Rev Magnetic – 27th May 2018 – Stereo Glasgow – Photos

A remarkable new project from Luke Sutherland. I found their set quite overwhelming, I really feel the need to hear them again. There’s something really special here but I think it requires more than one listen to fully digest.

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Photos areΒ Copyright Graeme J. Baty. All rights reserved.

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THE NEW BREED | 22.05.18 | Think Tank

THE NEW BREED | 22.05.18 | Think Tank

The New Breed – 22nd May 2018 – Think Tank Newcastle – Photos

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DUNES | 22.05.18 | Think Tank

DUNES | 22.05.18 | Think Tank

Dunes – 22nd May 2018 – Think Tank Newcastle – Photos

I was feeling a bit down in the dumps until I heard Dunes were playing! I popped in for their set and left myΒ low mood behind! Three new songs tonight from their upcoming debut LP. Very very nice! This is the first time I’ve seen them properly (other than on our shoot for the Seapig video) this year. It’s hard not to like their music, easily my favourite local act in recent years.

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THE WILDHEARTS, REEF, TERRORVISION and DODGY | Britrock Must Be Destroyed | 20.05.18 | Newcastle O2 Academy

THE WILDHEARTS, REEF, TERRORVISION and DODGY | Britrock Must Be Destroyed | 20.05.18 | Newcastle O2 Academy

The Wildhearts, Reef, Terrorvision and Dodgy – Britrock Must Be Destroyed – 20th May 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

Review by Kevin Burdon, photos by Gordon ArmstrongΒ 

While I don’t recall β€œBritrock” ever actually being an actual thing back in the 90s and 00s, the label serves as a canny promotional tactic to package up four of the most prominent rock acts of the era on a single tour. Let’s face it, if the banner has brought together a lineup consisting of The Wildhearts, Terrorvision and Reef (rotating as headliners across the tour) with support from Dodgy, who’s complaining?! The strategy seems to have paid off nicely, with a very healthy turnout in the Academy on Sunday night.

On paper, Dodgy seemed to be a bit of a lightweight addition to the bill when compared to the rest of the lineup, but they performed well and got the night off to a good start. Β It certainly didn’t hurt that they have a couple of classic hits (Staying Out for the Summer and Good Enough) in the arsenal to kick off the nostalgia vibe and get the party started and they got a really warm response from the steadily growing crowd.

Terrorvision frontman Tony Wright is probably one of the most energetic performers you’re likely to witness. He never stopped bouncing around the stage for the entire set, never seeming out of breath even when delivering the rapid-fire lyrics of Perseverance. The band were on great form and the audience were in fine voice too, assisting Tony heartily with the likes Alice What’s the Matter, Celebrity Hit List and Josephine. They powered through a set of hits (plentiful enough that they were able to leave out the chart-busting pop of Tequila in favour of some of the more hard rocking tracks), before spectacularly bouncy rendition of Oblivion brought a close to their phenomenal set, which on any other night would have justifiably worthy of the headline slot.

There had been a few critical voices in some online communities when Reef had been announced for this gig, and there was a sense that in certain quarters they had been written off before playing a single note. While they might not have been everyone’s proverbial cuppa at the start of the night, a confident performance of their groove-laden alt-rock certainly seemed to win over their doubters and the band got a great response from the crowd. The old songs Place your Hands and Come Back Brighter were very well received, but also the new material such as Revelation was impressive, with a much more straight up classic rock kind of vibe to it. Even some of the slower songs like My Sweet Love went down very well with what was a predominantly hard rock crowd, with frontman Gary Stringer impressing with his versatile vocal abilities throughout the set.

As a hometown show for Ginger & Danny, the Wildhearts were the obvious choice of headliner for the Newcastle date and as such got an additional 15 minutes of stage time. In an interview prior to the gig Ginger had promised to β€œonly play the songs that will make the audience sing and dance”, and true to his word the next 75 minutes were stacked with the riffs and infectious melodies the band are renowned for. Hit followed hit followed hit without reprieve, and even the double whammy of Suckerpunch straight into Caffeine Bomb didn’t tire the crowd, who bounced and sang along loudly to every word throughout the set. The band have recently reformed after a few years’ hiatus, during which they’ve had to overcome several of their own individual personal battles (while still finding time to record some superb solo projects), and they seemed to be reinvigorated with renewed enthusiasm on stage. If this energy can be carried over into the recording of the new album then it promises to be an absolute belter. It was also a pleasure to see original member Danny McCormack return to the fold on bass duties, and he seemed to genuinely love being back on stage with the band. The hits continued, before finally the band closed out the superb set with fan favourite 29x the Pain and the anthemic I Wanna Go Where the People Go to a raucous reaction from the crowd. The Wildhearts have never been a band where you can predict what will happen next in their story, but you can guarantee that when they’re on stage and firing on all cylinders they’re unassailable.

Overall, the strategy of combining all of these bands paid off; it got a lot of punters through the door and made for a hell of a gig for those in attendance. Yet while there was an element of reminiscence and a nod to the 90s heyday about the tour’s marketing, there was nothing to suggest that any of these bands are mere nostalgia acts; They are all still exceptional live performers with plenty of new music still to offer.

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AIDAN MOFFAT and RM HURBBERT with SIOBHAN WILSON | 21.05.18 | The Cluny

AIDAN MOFFAT and RM HURBBERT with SIOBHAN WILSON | 21.05.18 | The Cluny

Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert with Siobhan WilsonΒ – 21st May 2018 – Newcastle Cluny – Photos

A little slice of Scottish loveliness arrived in Newcastle this week. I’m confident the album will make my top 10 of the year. They played thee album in full tonight with a couple of extra really special songs for a sold-out crowd at the Cluny. Just bloody brilliant! They’re a great pairing, Car Song has been a favourite of mine, so glad they’ve decided to do more work together. We had the added bonus of Siobhan Wilson playing a rather splendid solo set.

Apologies for the lack of angles of the shots, it was too busy and too hot to be fannying about πŸ™‚

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