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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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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EMMA RUTH RUNDLE and JAYE JAYLE | 07.11.2018 | Newcastle Cluny | REVIEW and PHOTOS

EMMA RUTH RUNDLE and JAYE JAYLE | 07.11.2018 | Newcastle Cluny | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Emma Ruth Rundle and Jaye Jayle – 7th November 2018 – Newcastle Cluny 2 – Review and photos

Feature by Graeme J. Baty

Emma Ruth Rundle – 7th Nov 2018 – Cluny

Some magic from Sargent House arrived in Newcastle on a dark and wet November evening. Jaye Jayle and Emma Ruth Rundle appear as perfectly complementary musical tour partners.

The room is in complete darkness, lit only by a few lamps attached to mic stands. This ensures full attention is on the artists, the crowd is impeccably behaved tonight, listening to every word and sound attentively, with warm applause during respites.

Jaye Jayle – 7th Nov 2018 –

Evan Patterson’s deep and gravelly tones often remind me of Mark Lanegan, albeit with a much more diverse vocal range. They come on to the stage to perform No Trail Path One with its hypnotic piano loop, which leads seamlessly into the second part of that piece No trail Path Two which is a highlight of the record for me. Coupled with Todd Cook’s amazing bass tone it never fails to send shivers down my spine.

Jaye Jayle PHOTO GALLERY

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The Jaye Jayle band have formed quite an endearing musical bond with Emma Ruth Rundle, having recorded and toured together for some time. Emma mentions that they’ve been on tour for 2 months now and it’s becoming slightly surreal for them. Both bands sound unique and yet cross over quite seamlessly. In their own musical World.

Emma Ruth Rundle – 7th Nov 2018 – Cluny

It’s a short but perfectly formed setlist, constituting mainly of new material from On Dark Horses, but with a few older songs added to the mix. Apathy on the Indiana Border proves a highlight of the set along with the spine-tingling Light Song.

Setlist

  • Dead Set Eyes
  • Fever Dreams
  • Apathy on the Indiana Border
  • Protection
  • Marked for Death
  • Darkhorse
  • Control
  • Light Song
  • Heaven
  • Shadows of My Name

Both bands have that perfect Sunday morning chill vibe. I came into the show feeling a down and depressed like a dark cloud was following all day, this music soothed and relaxed me, which is quite a remarkable feat.

Emma Ruth Rundle PHOTO GALLERY

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TURBOWOLF | 04.11.2018 | Northumbria Institute | REVIEW and PHOTOS

TURBOWOLF | 04.11.2018 | Northumbria Institute | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Turbowolf – 4th November 2018 – Northumbria Institute – Review and photos

Feature by Graeme J. Baty

Turbowolf – 4th Nov 2018 – Newcastle Northumbria Institute

I found out Turbrowolf were supporting Killing Joke on their UK tour the day before the show. I felt both excited and a bit confused if I’m honest. On paper, it doesn’t seem like an ideal musical paring but the chance to see two fantastic live bands in one night is great in my books! Turbowolf are such an amazing live band that I can see why they were chosen. After all, it shouldn’t really matter what genre of music as long as it’s good, right?

Turbowolf – 4th Nov 2018 – Newcastle Northumbria Institute

Turbowolf are performing as a three-piece without bassist Lianna Lee Davies as she’s recently become a parent. Although they lacked that low end they still dazzled and put in a rather brilliant performance.

I felt for them, the Newcastle audience really made them work for their applause, but credit where credit is due they won people over, slowly and steadily as each song finished the audience appreciation and enthusiasm increased! I guess that’s the strength of the band, although they aren’t as heavy or intense as Killing Joke the strength of their songs and showmanship wins out and I’m sure they’ll gain some new fans from this tour.

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KILLING JOKE | 04.11.2018 | Northumbria Institute | REVIEW and PHOTOS

KILLING JOKE | 04.11.2018 | Northumbria Institute | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Killing Joke – 4th November 2018 – Northumbria Institute – Review and photos

Killing Joke – 4th Nov 2018 – Newcastle Northumbria Institute

It’s been about 13 years since I last saw Killing Joke at the much smaller Newcastle University basement in 2005. At that time the band were enjoying a revival but still playing relatively intimate venues. I remember it being amazing yet they claimed it was the worst show of the tour, to this day I’m not sure why. Anyway, remarkably they have continued that revival with a slow and steady upward trajectory, whilst complementing their back catalogue with a string very strong records.

Killing Joke – 4th Nov 2018 – Newcastle Northumbria Institute

It’s now 2018 and they are celebrating their 40th anniversary, this time they play to a very busy and much bigger Northumbria Institute. Lots of things have changed since I last saw them, I can’t quite believe it’s been so long. The lineup is a special one, consisting of all the original members of the band as it was back in 1978. They’ve been back working together for some time now, that magic is still there and it is such a treat to finally witness in a live setting. Jaz made a really nice tribute to their fallen brother Raven, who was such a dominating force as part of their live sound and stage presence.

Martin Glover has returned to cover bass duties and appeared to be having the time of his life playing the songs again.

Killing Joke – 4th Nov 2018 – Newcastle Northumbria Institute

The guitar tone of Geordie Walker is a thing of beauty and never fails to raise the hairs on the back of my neck.

Killing Joke – 4th Nov 2018 – Newcastle Northumbria Institute

It was amazing to see Paul Fergusson behind the kit. His playing was a key part of that KJ sound that helped propel them to the limelight.

Killing Joke – 4th Nov 2018 – Newcastle Northumbria Institute

I had a peek at the setlist before they came on stage. It’s a strong setlist covering their entire back catalogue. Further research shows that they’ve been locked into this set for the entire tour. The Wait is an absolute highlight of the night for me and seems to get the best reaction from the crowd, many dancing away in sheer delight! The setlist ensures that, no matter what period of KJ is your preference that all will walk away having heard their favourite song.

Setlist

Killing Joke - 4th Nov 2018 - Newcastle Northumbria Institute - setlist
Killing Joke – 4th Nov 2018 – Newcastle Northumbria Institute

Not listed are the encore songs: Love Like Blood, Death and Resurrection Show, Wardance and Pandemonium. Death and Resurrection Show is one of my all-time favourite Killing Joke songs, I still remember distinctly hearing it for the first time and that exhilaration came flooding back tonight.

40 years later Killing Joke are still as relevant and as vital as ever (maybe even more so with the current hate-filled media and political climate). They are quite simply one of the greatest bands of all time and it’s been a privilege to photo them. 40 years is quite an achievement, an astounding achievement for an astounding band. Their music remains timeless, as seen in the faces of the crowd tonight, with all ages in attendance.

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(the) MELVINS | 26.10.2018 | Leeds Stylus | REVIEW and PHOTOS

(the) MELVINS | 26.10.2018 | Leeds Stylus | REVIEW and PHOTOS

(the) Melvins – 26th October 2018 – Leeds Stylus – Review and photos

Feature by Graeme J Baty

Melvins – 26th October 2018 – Leeds Stylus

What a bill! I’ve managed to miss the Melvins on their recent tours due to gig clashes, remarkably I’ve never seen them before. So when this one was announced with thee Jon Spencer as support nothing was going to stop me from getting to this one! Looking at the calibre of the musicians here tonight it’s a who’s who of 90s alternative music!

The Melvins have been a bucket list band of mine for many years. From the opening riff of Sesame Street Meat I knew it’d be worth the patience and 200-mile drive to see them! That first blast of pure guitar tone and sheer volume was intoxicating! I think to myself; holy shit they’re loud, holy shit this is awesome!

Melvins – 26th October 2018 – Leeds Stylus

Dual bass guitars is a thing of pure joy for me. The Melvins lineup seems very solidified now and it works tremendously well. With two very charismatic players; Jeff Pinkus (Butthole Surfers) and Steven Shane McDonald (Redd Kross) whose playing complements each other without muddying or stepping on each other’s toes. It’s a great sound. One of the things I love about the Stylus is its sheer capacity for volume, it’s lighting rig may suck but damn that sound is fantastic and I suppose you can’t have everything!

Melvins – 26th October 2018 – Leeds Stylus

Honey Bucket (their closest thing to a smash hit from their early 90s classic period) makes a welcome appearance midway through the set and it sounds better live than I’d ever imagined.

A stack of covers are in the setlist tonight, the highlight for me being the rather ridiculous Butthole Surfers cover; Stop Moving to Florida which they absolutely nail. I’m not normally one for covers but when the Melvins do them they make them entirely their own. A few others, as featured on their latest release Pinkus Abortion Technician include a Stones and Bowie covers and of course Redd Kross which seems only appropriate as they have RK bassist Steven Shane McDonald decked in a red animal print suit and looking like he’s having the time of his life! Sadly I didn’t get a decent colour shot of it 🙁

Melvins – 26th October 2018 – Leeds Stylus

Setlist

This is from setlist.fm and sounds about right, I didn’t manage to get a snap of the setlist this time.

  • Sesame Street Meat
  • At a Crawl
  • The Kicking Machine
  • Saviour Machine
  • What They Say
  • Anaconda
  • Stop Moving to Florida
  • Edgar the Elephant
  • Sway
  • Let It All Be
  • Honey Bucket
  • The Bit
  • Don’t Forget to Breathe
  • Onions Make the Milk Taste Bad
  • The Talking Horse
  • Evil New War God
  • Eye Flys
Melvins – 26th October 2018 – Leeds Stylus

King Buzzo stalks the stage with furious energy proving why he’s one of the greatest frontmen of all time. The Melvins are one of the most unique acts going and are easily one of the best bands I’ve seen in my 20 years of gigging. This would make my top ten gigs of the year alone but with the added bonus of Jon Spencer (head here for that review) it’ll prove to be one of my favourite shows of 2018!

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JON SPENCER | 26.10.2018 | Leeds Stylus | REVIEW and PHOTOS

JON SPENCER | 26.10.2018 | Leeds Stylus | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Jon Spencer – 26th October 2018 – Leeds Stylus – Review and photos

Feature by Graeme J Baty

Jon Spencer – 26th October 2018 – Leeds Stylus

It’s quite rare when I see a gig announcement and get excited about both the headliner and the support but this tour did exactly that. Jon Spencer would be enough to entice me but with the added bonus of the Melvins headlining (a separate feature coming for that very soon), it was just way too much cool for me to turn down! I filled up the car with petrol and did a 200-mile round trip to see this gig! Was it worth it? The answer is a HELL YES!

Jon Spencer – 26th October 2018 – Leeds Stylus

Spencer has put together a rather great band. Going into the show I wasn’t sure how the songs would work in a live setting or who would be his backing band. The album was a very welcome surprise and I’ve found myself listening to it on heavy rotation for the last week or two (head here for my verdict on that).

As the record is relatively short and concise, Spencer and his “Hitmakers” pretty much rattled through the entire album. They had quite a good set time and managed to fill 45 mins with some very welcome JSBX tracks from the archives. It was great to hear Shirt Jac and it really got the diehard fans moving! Dang sounded fantastic with Quasi legend Sam Coomes doing the honours on backing vocal screams and keys.

Jon Spencer – 26th October 2018 – Leeds Stylus

I was captivated by the percussionist. He looked familiar, not to mention he was banging a metal trash can, along with a kick drum, various car parts and a huge coil spring. I can’t imagine what the airline thought of that luggage coming from America! Watching the show for a good 15-20 minutes the penny finally dropped where I know the percussionist from! It’s only thee Bob Bert! Now you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a Pussy Galore type band but the sound is firmly rooted in rock ‘n’ roll, albeit with that unmistakable Spencer magic touch.

Jon Spencer – 26th October 2018 – Leeds Stylus

At first, the crowd reaction was quite reserved. I found having already heard the songs that I knew what was coming and I really enjoyed it. Spencer warmed the audience and towards the end punters seemed to get it and go with the flow! Tonight the songs were delveered in a much more subdued pace than a Jon Spencer Blues Explosion gig, where song after song hits you in a relentless Ramones style fashion.

Beetle Boots and Time 2 Be Bad were live favourites for me. Both sounding really great with the junkyard sounds nice and high up in the mix they really add a load of character to the songs and performance.

Spencer left the stage with a “Good night! Fuck you Trump!” To a rather large applause. What a show! I’m a bit disappointed that I can’t make any of the solo shows (and the lack of a Cape at this one!), I can only imagine they will perform even more of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion songs in a full headline show. A few people have already asked me “is he worth seeing as a solo act?” The answer is f**k yes!”.

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