SOULFLY  | 09.08.18 | Newcastle Riverside

SOULFLY | 09.08.18 | Newcastle Riverside

Soulfly – 9th August 2018 – Newcastle Riverside – Review and photos

Feature by Graeme J Baty

Soulfly – 9th Aug 2018 – Newcastle Riverside

Soulfly make a very welcome return to Newcastle, the last time was at the Riverside just over four years ago (see photos from that show here). They’re back ahead of the release of a brand new album Ritual (which is out on Nuclear Blast later in 2018). Tonight the band are celebrating 20 years of Soulfly! As you can imagine the set feels like a ‘best of’. Which is fine by me and everyone else in attendance! There’s a really good vibe in the crowd tonight.

It’s a really hot night at the Riverside. Before the show, I was worried it might not sell that well, due to a lot of local metalheads being at Bloodstock Festival. Local bands Yersin and Ashes of Iron helped to draw in a few punters and the venue was packed. Easily the best metal crowd I’ve ever seen at the Riverside, the kids were wild, circle pits and good old-fashioned moshing, great to see people having the best time. That energy seemed to encourage the band even more, they were really enjoying themselves.

One of the new tracks (I didn’t catch the name, please comment below if you know it) was an absolute thrash masterpiece and for me was one of the standout performances of the night. There is life in them yet and tonight they prove just as vital as ever. That unmistakable Cavalera groove is what makes them so enjoyable.

Soulfly – 9th Aug 2018 – Newcastle Riverside

They played classics like Eye for an Eye, Umbabarauma, Blood Fire War Hate, Back to the Primitive. They dipped into other Max projects with a brilliant version of Wasting Away (Nailbomb). Max’s grandson came out from a very brief but fun appearance, it was over in a flash, pretty sure it was a Napalm Death song!

A ridiculously good extended guitar solo from shredder Marc Rizzo saw the band leave the stage and allow him to melt the ears of punters, throwing a very welcomed slice of Slayer too! After the solo Max returned to the stage wearing a Venom t-shirt with a nice tribute to the Newcastle metal heritage \m/

What a night. Easily the best I’ve seen Soulfly. A short but perfectly executed 85 minutes of sonic pummelling, hits the spot and I’m left wanting more. 20 years on they’re just as great as ever. Bands come and go but Soulfly have 20 years of killer riffs in their armoury. They are living legends! 

Soulfly – 9th Aug 2018 – Newcastle Riverside

Apologies for the lack of angles on the shots, I was shooting from the edge of the pit and in the crowd with my superzoom =D Buzzing with what I managed to get though \m/ The Riverside remains my favourite venue for heavy bands and it’s great to see them back here!

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STEVE EARLE AND THE DUKES | THE MASTERSONS | 21.07.18 | Sage Gateshead

STEVE EARLE AND THE DUKES | THE MASTERSONS | 21.07.18 | Sage Gateshead

Steve Earle and The Dukes | The Mastersons – 21st July 2018 – Sage Gateshead

By Kevin Burdon (Kevin Burdon Photography)

 

The excellent SummerTyne Americana Festival returned to the Sage for 2018, featuring loads of great acts both inside the main halls but also outside in the glorious sunshine. The Saturday night of the event was headlined by legendary songwriter Steve Earle and his band the Dukes.


The Mastersons

Support for Steve’s tour came from husband & wife duo the Masterson’s featuring the Dukes’ Chris Masterson (guitar/vocals) and Eleanor Whitmore (fiddle/vocals). The Sage audience were treated to a short set of sublime vocal harmonies (particularly Transient Lullaby which was absolutely beautiful) and terrific songwriting and musicianship. The couple created a really relaxed and humorous vibe on stage, and they warmed the crowd up well with their laid back set.

Steve Earle and The Dukes

The opening section of the Dukes set drew heavily from the band’s latest CD So You Wanna be an Outlaw, an approach which can sometimes alienate the casual listener who is there mainly for the ‘hits’, but Earle had no such problem on this occasion which is testament to the quality of the songs on the new album. The titular track, Looking for a Woman & Firebreak Line were particularly impressive in a live setting, while News From Colorado was immaculately delivered to a respectfully attentive Sage audience.

Steve was an entertaining host for the evening in a jovial mood, joking with a heckler that shouted out for a classic hit “you think I’m not going to play that one? You might not be awake to hear it…”.

There were plenty of classic Earle tracks in the setlist too, a goosebump-inducing rendition of My Old Friend the Blues led into a run of classics that included Guitar Town and I Ain’t Ever Satisfied. The rest of the set was nicely balanced between new songs and obligatory classics like Johnny Come Lately, The Galway Girl and of course Copperhead Road. The band closed the main set with an excellent cover of Hey Joe (complete with a cheeky dig at Donald Trump), but one of the highlights of the evening was a beautifully subdued rendition of The Girl on the Mountain at the end of the encore, bringing to a close an outstanding set.

It was my first time seeing a gig in the main hall of the Sage and it’s worth mentioning that the acoustics of the room are exceptional. The mix was almost perfect, allowing each instrument to shine through with remarkable clarity, which is vital when mixing a group of musicians of this calibre. Even Steve commented on the quality of the venue from a performer’s perspective.

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EMPLOYED TO SERVE | 23.07.18 | Think Tank Newcastle

EMPLOYED TO SERVE | 23.07.18 | Think Tank Newcastle

Employed to Serve – 23rd July 2018 – Think Tank Newcastle – Review and photos

Feature By Graeme J Baty

Employed to Serve – 23rd July 2018 – Newcastle Think Tank

This marks my second time seeing ETS this year. On the previous occasion, I was that blown away I ordered both of their records from Holy Roar. Brilliantly put together records, the sound is amazing and the colours were enough to entice me! I was instantly hooked. They returned to Newcastle for a headline show and they brought two suitably awesome bands, I was really impressed with Leeched and Rough Hands.

Tonight they play their second album The Warmth of a Dying Sun in full and in order. Which also happens to be my favourite of theirs. I last saw them with Code Orange. It’s nice to see them now that I know the material and I can appreciate the details and craft to the songs. It’s quite a testament to a band if they can share a bill with the likes of Code Orange and give them a run for their money! They made quite a lasting impression on me. On first hearing them it’s somewhat of a wild ride, you never know what to expect, an album’s worth of densely packed riffs in just one song. It’s overwhelmingly impressive!

There’s a lot of depth to their writing compared to many in this genre and that elevates them in my humble opinion. It’s a mix of hardcore and tech metal blended into something new and utterly thrilling. Easily the best heavy band I’ve seen in years. They tour a lot and through hard graft are breaking through and gaining some deserved attention and accolades.

It’s a short and pummelling set, bashing out the album in a lean 45-ish minutes. There are a few familiar faces in tonight and I spotted at least one Code Orange tee so it’s great to see they have made lasting fans from those shows. I think the more ETS play those types of support slots the more their audience will grow.

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GHOSTFACE KILLAH AND KILLAH PRIEST | 11.06.18 | Newcastle Riverside

GHOSTFACE KILLAH AND KILLAH PRIEST | 11.06.18 | Newcastle Riverside

Ghostface Killah and Killah Priest – 11th June 2018 – Newcastle Riverside

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

Hip-hop royalty hit the Toon with what will be in a lot of peoples top gigs of the year. There was a slight bit of anxiousness beforehand as a previous nights gig was cut very short with Ghostface walking off stage and the Wu-Tang show at the O2 had been hit and miss with a lot of folks. However, all fears were quelled once the duo took the stage and ripped through a set of classic tunes and not just Ghostface / Priest solo stuff either there were all manner of Wu-Tang classics in there for everyone to throw up their “W’s” to lots of happy hip-hop heads in the house that night !!

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MINISTRY | 18.07.18 | Glasgow SWG3

MINISTRY | 18.07.18 | Glasgow SWG3

Ministry and Chelsea Wolfe  18th July 2018 – Glasgow SWG3 – Review and photos

Ministry – 18th July 2018 – Glasgow SWG3

Chelsea Wolfe and her band played a short but devastatingly brilliant set, left wanting more which is probably mission accomplished for a support act. There was a huge turnout early on for her set. Ministry and CW is such a quirky but great bill, there appears to be quite a crossover of fans tonight. Speaking to a few Ministry fans who weren’t familiar they all agreed that the Chelsea Wolfe set was brilliant. The dark and brooding songs come to life in a live setting, I loved how heavy the material sounded, the chorus of 16 Psyche is massive. CW albums are often my go-to music for some chilled sounds but performed live the dynamics bring out the power and make the songs sound huge. Truly amazing. The sound was perfect. I’ve been waiting a long time to catch CW and her band and I wasn’t disappointed. Chelsea Wolfe full photo gallery here

Chelsea Wolfe – 18th July 2018 – Glasgow SWG3

After the O2 ABC fire, it looked like this gig might not go ahead. Thankfully the promoters managed to relocate it to the SWG3. It’s my second time here (Sepultura in March) and both occasions I’ve been impressed with the sound and lighting. It’s a low ceiling, a concrete industrial looking nightmare you’d expect it to be more home to raves but I have to admit the sound is impressive. They’ve nailed the setup here and it suits heavier bands rather well! 

Al Jourgensen

Ministry have a legion of loyal fans in tonight. Some travelling some serious miles! I thought my 300-mile round trip was good but there’s a few in from around Europe too.

Ministry returned last year with a new album AmeriKKKant on Nuclear Blast Records and I must admit I wasn’t expecting it to be as quite good as it was. They haven’t lost a single bit of their power, politicly charged messages and of course showmanship. If anything their Anti-fascist approach is more relevant and more needed than at any other point in my lifetime. 

selist ministry Glasgow
Ministry – 18th July 2018 – Glasgow SWG3

There’s a liberal dashing of the new material before they end the set on some absolute classics. Two large screens on either side of the stage pump intense visuals into the eyes of punters. I found myself mesmerised by the Antifa visuals! 

New World Order and Thieves get some of the biggest reactions from the crowd. New material sounding great as they seamlessly change from old to new. It hasn’t aged a bit. Exciting. Heavy. Highly politically charged. Giant inflatable chickens with Donald Trump hairdos. This is great. The world needs Ministry! 

Ministry – 18th July 2018 – Glasgow SWG3

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CHELSEA WOLFE | 18.07.18 | Glasgow SWG3

CHELSEA WOLFE | 18.07.18 | Glasgow SWG3

Chelsea Wolfe – 18th July 2018 – Glasgow SWG3 – Photos

Chelsea Wolfe – 18th July 2018 – Glasgow SWG3

Here’s a large photo gallery from Chelsea Wolfe’s support slot with Ministry. Review to follow shortly. Spoiler alert! They were both class!

It was a quite a challenge to photo this set but I’m really pleased with what I got. The lighting was amazing and suited the music well but proved tricky to photo =D

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MAVIS STAPLES | 13.07.18 | Boiler Shop Newcastle

MAVIS STAPLES | 13.07.18 | Boiler Shop Newcastle

Mavis Staples – 13th July 2018 – Boiler Shop Newcastle

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

During the first three songs, I had to stop taking photos and stand and just take in the fact I was in front of the legendary Mavis Staples and she was belting out Slippery People by Talking Heads as though it was her own and to be fair she smashed it! This was a night to savour and whilst the set did feature new songs from the latest album you still felt like you were totally familiar and at home with them all. I have to say I most impressed with how strong her voice still is. You expect a little wavering but nope not this lady she just hit everything spot on and effortlessly! Big shout to the band and backing singers too who were just brilliant.

After Take It Back Mavis explained that the song had been written for her by Benjamin Booker who had opened up the night earlier the mention of Ben’s name raised a large cheer Mavis then jammed the chorus of Bens’ Witness track which she guests on the album not realising Booker was side stage raising an even larger cheer she got Ben up and played the full track with her band just nailing it!

If You’re Ready, I’ll Take You There, Freedom Highway, talks of protest marches, Dr King, family, The Staples Singers etc gave the night a very very special feeling indeed! “A lot of love in the room” is often an overused phrase but not tonight! Love was most definitely in the air.

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BENJAMIN BOOKER | 13.07.18 | Boiler Shop Newcastle

BENJAMIN BOOKER | 13.07.18 | Boiler Shop Newcastle

Benjamin Booker – 13th July 2018 – Boiler Shop Newcastle

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

Benjamin was here opening for legend Mavis Staples on a few dates and certainly did not disappoint! Unlike the last time he was here, this is not a full band affair it’s just Benjamin and guitarist Sam Cohen (who also produced Benjamins’ last album Witness) but the power of the songs from his two albums was not lost.

He has such a sweet soft soulful voice yet standing far back from the mic it still fills the room with ease and by the time he airs title track Witness the crowd are totally on board. I loved the stripped back versions of the songs and seeing Benjamin so obviously buzzing being on the bill with Mavis Staples but hoping he comes back for a headliner spot soon.

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OH SEES | 12.07.18 | Boiler Shop Newcastle

OH SEES | 12.07.18 | Boiler Shop Newcastle

Oh Sees (Thee Oh Sees) – 12th July 2018 – Boiler Shop Newcastle – Review and photos

Oh Sees (Thee Oh Sees) – 12th July 2018 – Boiler Shop Newcastle

Review and photos by Graeme J. Baty

Chatting to a few people before the show I was relieved to find that we all had one thing in common, i.e. not being familiar with the Oh Sees material, other than their reputation for them being one of the best live bands around. Everyone who has seen them, raves about them! Well, that was good enough for me! This year I’ve tried a few bands and different styles that I might normally pass on.

Local lads Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs nabbed the support slot so I made sure to get down in time for their set. They’re always tremendously entertaining with their Geordie Sabbath homage that you can’t help but love (a separate photo gallery to follow for their set shortly). This is a great bill for them and the crowd were going mental for it! They have a new LP due out and I’m sure it’ll make many a top 10 list of the year.

Oh Sees (Thee Oh Sees) – 12th July 2018 – Boiler Shop Newcastle

The Boiler Shop is continuing its reputation of bringing brilliant diverse acts (some of which are rarely seen in this part of the UK) to the region, such as Liars, Michael Gira, Ty Segall, 65daysofstatic, Marmozets, The Horrors and loads more! I was quite surprised to see them play here and I was happy to see the place packed to the rafters as they say! I believe this is the first time the Oh Sess have played in Newcastle, please correct me if I’m wrong 🙂

The second song in the set is The Dream and is a standout for me with its catchy bluesy boogie rhythm and wild guitar, it made for a perfect introduction to the band and is a good summary of what the night ahead will be like.

Dual drummers Dan Rincon and Paul Quattrone were mesmerising to watch. Frontman John Dwyer contorts, yelps and entertains making for some absolutely brilliant photos! Whilst bassist Tim Hellman calmly keeps his eye on the bedlam and keeps them in check. They have this brilliant way of playing together, they don’t need words they just look at each other and react intuitively.

Oh Sees (Thee Oh Sees) – 12th July 2018 – Boiler Shop Newcastle
Oh Sees (Thee Oh Sees) – 12th July 2018 – Boiler Shop Newcastle

I walked in not sure what to expect but I walked out as an Oh Sees fan! I’m off to buy all the records. Hopefully, they’ll come back here and I’ll know more of the songs next time. That was f**king mint, nothing short of brilliant. I need more dual drumming bands in my life!!!! 

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LITTLE STEVEN AND THE DISCIPLES OF SOUL | 02.07.18 | Whitley Bay Playhouse

LITTLE STEVEN AND THE DISCIPLES OF SOUL | 02.07.18 | Whitley Bay Playhouse

Little Steven and The Disciples of Soul – 2nd July 2018 – Whitley Bay Playhouse – Review and photos

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

On entering the auditorium the first thing you see is that the big red curtains are drawn across the stage and you immediately get the feeling you’re at a big “SHOW”. However, as the curtains part and the band kick off with Arthur Conley’s Sweet Soul Music the soldout crowd are all up on their feet clapping singing and dancing their collective butts off!! This is Steven’s second visit to the North East in less than a year having played at the O2 in November 2017, but it wasn’t just the same set. Tonight though was the opening night of the Mouth of the Tyne Festival and what a great way to start it!

Little Stevie brings a huge 15 piece band on stage, with full brass, percussion, backing singers, keyboards the works brought the feel of an Apollo Theatre night out to our little seaside town! Etta James, Gary US Bonds, Southside Johnny, James Brown, Jimmy Barnes numbers all get the Van Zandt treatment alongside his own Disciples Of Souls work mainly taken from the debut Men Without Women.

Two and a half hours they played with no break for the encore just ploughed straight through. To be fair he’s used to that playing with Springsteen but even so the set never lost momentum and kept everyone’s attention

Steven had been in Newcastle the day before and went to The Tyne bar to see The King Bees, who he not only dedicated the Animals Club A Go Go to but also invited them to the show as guests and this is what stands out about Steve Van Zandt to me, it’s not the trademark bandana and coat or the Sopranos or Lillyhammer it’s his genuine love of keeping music alive whether through gigs like this or his radio show he just wants people to discover great tunes

A mention has to be given to the organisation Teachrock which he is championing too, whereby he is inviting teachers to come along to a seminar in the afternoon and then allowing them free tickets to the show where available as an appreciation of those who try to educate others.

Under The Gun, Princess of Little Italy and closer Out of the Darkness were personal favourites of mine but to be honest the whole show was a highlight start to finish!!!

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