Sunday, 22 July 2012

Summertyne 2012

Again we have had excellent weather and excellent music for the Summertyne Festival of Musical Americana . The big guns appeared in Hall One and numebred among them John Hiatt , Wanda Jackson and Dr John.

In the Sage itself there were lots of displays and exhibibition , then amazing , in my mind , were Geoff Marston's Suitcases Full Of Blues , truly original works of art.

The Jumpin' Hot Stage stage was home to some amazing performances , of which I saw three , interluded by the Hot Dog Eating Competiting and The Central Gateshead overseen by Dave Campbell . The winner took the golden Dog with 11 in the alloted ten minutes , with a couple of creditable ten , but nowhere near the world record 69 !! .

Anyway back to the musical acts I caught:

  • Errol Linton , and excellent blues harpist with a superb backing band , and a great voice. Well so good that I made sure I got hold of his CD "Mama Said" from the stall next to the stage.
  • Interlude for Hot Dog Competition at The Central
  • Mary Jean Lewis & The Starlight Boys were next up , a well turned out Western Swing style combo , sparking some inpressive dancing among the crowd. I find this type of music a little sedate but I was way in the minority in this crowd . Very well received.
  • Finally the band I had come to see , the Swiss Zydeco influenced Mama Rosin. As expected they played a storming sent giving their washboard and triangle plenty of hammer. "La Pistolet" appeared as the penultimate song in their main set , before the band were recalled for an encore.
A wonderful finish to a wonderful day. My CD colletion and general well being extended by the experience !!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Mouth of Tyne Festival - 2012

The omens for this year's Mouth of Tyne Festival didn't bode too well. The street entertainment in previous years had been reducing , this year's headliners wer Heaven 17 , not my idea of a headliner and the cost of tickets for the Sunday gig was now £10 a ticket and £5 for children. Added to that the weather in the run up had been mostly torrential rain.

Then .....

Sunday morning glorious sunshine ,  great start to rhe day. Arriving in Tynemouth I found  I'd missed The Undertones  , Richard Hawley , The Wanted & McFly and the Festival actually started on Thursday , but I didnt have the cash or time to see the other act, and some of tem I would rather not see!!

Lots of street entertainment and the weather stayed good . Two highlights were a couple of weird cycly taxis for children which were going down very well. The trad jazz stage att the entrance to the Priory is still there and the crowd in front fairly rammed. Always well attended.

Tickets for the Sunday were sold out like last year , and so on to the Priory having missed the openers The Caffrey Brothers. So this is how it went:

  • Rossi Noise : Loud Rage Against The Machine lite band and an excellent opener for me , would see them again.
  • Yes Sir Boss : Bristol based ska band , who had driven up that morning , who had excellent rhythm but no memorable tunes until the last two numbers which got the crowd up and was a big tick as far as I was concerned displaying Klezmer influences as well as their Nu Ska sound.
  • The South : or The Beautiful South sans Paul Heaton. Surprisingly excellent with an excellent Paul Heaton lookalike / sound alike . Every song was instantly recognisable , and they even included a cover of Cass Elliot's "Dream A Little Dream Of Me" , overall the best band of the afternoon.
  • Heaven 17 : The problem with Heaven 17 is that most peopl eonly remember Temptation , and while there were odd songs I remembered such as "Fascist Groove Thing" and "Crushed By The Wheels of Industry" , the band were fighting against adverse weather and some dodgy material, and , as Bob said , a keyboard player (Martin Ware) who should have been working in a library!. Finally came a storming version of "Temptation" and if the set had consisted of songs this good it would have been brilliant , but it was still worth waiting for. They finished to rapturous applause and then dropped the bombshell ... "We're going to play another song!!" . "How?"  "You haven't got another song" .  What we were forgetting was that Martin Ware had a hand in writing the Human League's best ever song "Being Boiled" , and they topped "Temptation" with that. Those two songs were worth the entry fee but we got the rest as well.

So another brilliant final day for the Mouth Of Tyne Festival.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Cult of Hoult's Yard

This weekend I attended one of the best day's music I have seen in ages. The Hoult's Yard Cult Festival  provided some amazing stuff. Three stages , one outdoor , one in Warehouse 34 and one in a garage provided some excellent music. I'm. just going to list what I saw as I missed a lot just becasue of the high quality of everything on offer.

I got there via a Q1 bus , but the place is not very well signposted, but once in there noticed that there werent too many people around , the advertising and local coverage had not been too heavy to say the least. The Yard was dominated by a huge fairground ride surrounded by fairgound junk food stalls mixed with quality sellers such a Safari Burgers , Juniper's Pantry , Idlehands Cup Cakes and an excellent organic cafe who's name slips my mind but sold their coffee in mugs with a 50p deposit. As Kirsty poited out it was Beat Root cafe , brilliant !!

The Music Outdoor Stage:
  • Yesterdays Kids - Excellent Festival openers . Started with a listenable song displaying local influences and included the Neil Diamond penned "I'm A Believer" in their set.
  • Victory Mansions - another excellent set "Fifty Words" was my favourite song and they were giving away copies of their excellent ep "Corridors" available here.

Garage Stage:
  • Matinee were and excellent Franz Ferdinand a like eastern european sounding band.

Warehouse 34:
  •  The Generals - I'd heard them on Radio 6 and were the best band I'd heard so far , just more of the great stuff on the day.
  •  B>E>A>K> - MAd MAsked Mackem Jazz Rock Collective , Superb Stuff
  • The Sound of Guns - The revelation of the day , totally in tune with the Omen and If films running in the background. Future headliners somewhere and absolutely brilliant sound and stage presence.
  • King Charles - despite a lengthy soundcheck these are the best pop rock band since Adam and The Ants , their music as addictive as Abba and as eclectic as anyone you have heard and totally addictive . Buy the album , you wont stop playing it!!
  • Beth Jeans Houghton - Stunning platinum blonde hair , zombie make up , Can T- Shirts and songs about geometric shapes , what is not to like . Brilliant stuff.
  • The Fall - Headliners and tight as a drum , The Fall are The Fall , Mark E Smith his curmudgeonly masterful stage presence erratically sending the crowd wild.

A combination of  tight short set by high quality bands made this a superb memorable day for everyone there , and for everyone who wasn'y .... you don't know what you missed !!