Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Trillians Rising

Trillians is Go
This week has been amazing (see my main blog for why here) , and tonight at Think Tank? my friend Barbara told me she was reopening Trillians , Necastle's legendary Rock Bar , with a proposed opening date of 12th of June.

When Trillians closed it was like something had been cut out of Newcastle , and with the proliferation of  flash harry bars made me fear that something similar would happen here, but know it's been taken over by someone who holds the rock spirit close and will foster that, giving the rock community it's home back.

I saw many great gigs there including The Coyotemen and the Star Spangled Chestwigs, as well as just enjoying the cracking jukebox , and fantastic atmosphere. I am so looking forward to going there again enjoying good music , great atmosphere and just being with great people.

You need to get there too , if you don't use it then don't complain when all you have left is your local Tesco to buy your drink.

The music is The Eagles "Journey of The Sorcerer" , theme tune to Douglas Adams Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy, Trillian  being the girl Arthur tried to get off with.

So get yourself down there , it's time to rock again.

Think Coyotemen , Think Dictators

Tonight was my fourth gig in five days. Everyone has been brilliant, Clippah , Arkala , Ms Dynamite , Dalaro, Pop Will Eat Itself,  and tonight The Coyotemen and The Dictators. I must say I am extremely spoilt in my options to go and see bands in Newcastle , and the long weekend has given me the option of making the most of everything.

Coyotemen are go
Tonight we went along to Think Tank? and were served up a high energy treat, Missed the first band but the Coyotemen ,bedecked in suitable shirts and impressive Mexican wresting masks served up typical classic high octane rock and roll peppered with classics such as "Any Port In A Storm" and "New Tattoo" (hope I got the titles right).

 These guys give you faith in rock and roll and get better every time I see them despite every gig they play being their final blow out , but we know the Coyotemen will go on forever. Not a second wasted, top speed entertainment, setting the stage for the nights headliners.......

Dictators on Stage
... the Dictators featuring Handsome Dick Manitoba, they are rock royalty , and it is just amazing how many songs you know and even if you don't know them you ended up singing along. Mr Manitoba has a bar in New York and offered everyone a drink , so that is one of the places I need to visit when I go later in the year. Songs like "Cars and Girls" , "Avenue A" , "Faster and Louder" and the place jumping , spiced with covers of "Slow Death" , "California Sun" and the finale of "Kick Out The Jams".

A stunning night , I've seldom seen so many smiling faces at a gig , and Handsome Dick is a brilliant front man in a brilliant band. I know they are legends , and tonight I found out why.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

An Unexpected Sailing on Clippah at JJ20

This is a post I certainly didn't expect to do , especially on the blog. It was my friends John and Julie's 20th Wedding anniversary , but where most people organize a meal , night out , part at home , John and Julie organised their own weekend festival with camping , bands and DJs in a big field in Northumberland signposted by JJ20 signs down even ever smaller and rougher roads until you find the place, which is well landscaped for music.

The Engineer Has It Covered
Last nights band Clippah were a young five piece , the lead singer sporting a huge beard. They ran through an instrumental sound check which sounded promising and I posted 15 seconds of it on Instagram.The engineer had a great sense of humour as the picture shows, and then the band kicked. My first impressions were Free, and they had a good mix of originals and covers , doing justice to the Sonics "Have Love Will Travel" and a superb version of the Rolling Stones "Gimme Shelter", I didn't catch the titles of all the songs but the crowd loved them and the time flew by., remember "Rib Cage" and "Coastline" was brilliant.

They have a Facebook page and play a charity night with the DJooks in Morpeth (details here)

An  excellent night and will be seeing these guys again

Monday, 4 May 2015

The Lion Still Talks

This was my third gig in three days , and once more at the Cluny to see the amazing CW Stoneking's New Orleans Australian Jazz Blues

I walked in on the Monkey Junk Blues band , a geordie two piece belting out acoustic based blues standards with some force , including Robert Johnson , Elmore James , Charlie Patton and more , finishing with a crowd driving version of Muddy Waters "Got My Mojo Working". I spoke to the singer , John Nellist, and he told me about the blues club they run in Heaton at The Butterfly Cabinet which is now on my list to visit.  Andy the guitarist was stunning and played some excellent slide . That's second band in three days with a brilliant slide guitar , the other being the Smoke Fairies.

Gon' Boogaloo
CW Stoneking came on stage with a new band. This is more Primitive Western Swing that Primitive Horn Orchestra.One the early new songs was Zombie from the album Gon' Boogaloo which I immediately added to my collection , the crowd were hooked and buzzing. Seeing Stoneking is like being transported to an alternate 1930's reality and it's great, the band were given rests during the night but Stoneking kept on stage regaling us with tales of how he worked as a handyman , shipwrecks , pygmies and how he can never play his banjo ever again , plus the reason for the existence of the Bermuda Triangle.

The band were amazing , and the two backing singers wonderful adding to a fantastic experience. I'm already looking forward to the next gig , another amazing night in the presence  of a genuine character and genius.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Goth In All Over The World

I'll be honest , I went to this gig to see Jordan Reyne and was disappointed that she was to unwell to play, but these things happen and I'd rather that she got better so she can come again. Having said that there were still three bands on to enjoy, all in roughly the Goth and Rock universe.

I was talking to a blonde girl with teh promoter Eddie , and she turned out to be the singer with Arcane 39 the opening band. They opened with a cracking take on Black Sabbath's War Pigs, and I was expected more in the same vein especially with the bands name , also a female lead on a Sabbath song gave it and great feel. The following songs were essentially sometimes off kilter (in a good way) rock , sounding better for me on the fast numbers. Definitely a band to watch out for and you can find em on Facebook just click on the name link.

Next up were Dead Eyes Opened and for me they were the revelation of the night, a three piece with shades of Sisters of Mercy , late period Damned and a sliver of Nick Cave. This band a Goth and carry threat in their sound. Song after song , wave after wave of amazing sound , which didn't let up. Definitely looking forward to seeing them again and chatted with their singer , who is a really nice guy.

Mission Statement
Headliners were Rhombus with and expansive guitar based sound and imposing stage presence. The bass guitarist had guested with Dead Eyes Opened.

The Cluny was possibly a little too small for them but they filled the place with sound and had the select crowd on their feet all the way through until the end. A good end to a great night of Goth oriented music , every band is on my list to see again , and should be on yours to see at least once.

In Orbit at The Riverside - A Public Service Broadcast

On Thursday I went to see Public Service Broadcasting for the second time this year, now expanding to a four piece recalling Kraftwerk's line up in feel as well as look. Several of their songs such as Spitfire utilise Neu's Motorik mechanical beat , giving an excellent framework to the entertaining as well as educational delivery. The Riverside was fully opened up for the night meaning that those at the back had the top half of the stage blocked out, the Riverside does need and internal redesign at some point for putting on big gigs, but I was at the front so it didn't really matter, the building is impressive and the bar staff very efficient.

Smoke Fairies
The support were the Smoke Fairies who manage to combine a heaviness with etheriality, with some amazing dirty slide guitar. They also provide backing vocals on the Public Service Broadcasting song Valentina on The Race For Space album. Their set passed fairly quickly as every song was excellent andit was a welcome return when their voices graced Valentina. The Shadow Inversions track gives a good indication of how good they are and the video is extremely inventive as well.

In Orbit
Public Service Broadcasting took to the stage at 9pm , now expanded to a four piece , playing old and new songs and wowing the crowd with the visuals and brilliance of weaving new music wit old samples and footage. They are probably the only band that you come away from having learned and seen something new. Songs such as Spitfire and Go stood out before their encore starting with Gagarin complete with brass section and dancing cosmonaut andfinishing with Everest with a poignant dediation to the Nepalese earthquake.

They are the first band I've seen that sell their own tea towels , this time on how to build your own rocket.

So another brilliant gig, and this was the first of three consecutive nights for me.