Lauren Gosling (Photo Credits: Andy Turner Facebook )
In a small, dark and grungy basement bar in the centre of Newcastle, a buzz of general excitement and anticipation filled the room as a small intimate crowd featuring friends of the bands mingled with members of the variety of bands showcasing their talent this evening.
Five bands were set to foot the bill in total over the course of the night with Leading Zeros hitting the venue for what was to be the second of an intimate series of gigs to a local crowd, having recently played a show at the Black Bull in Gateshead.
As the venue started to fill and the alcohol flowed, Space Penguins took to a small cramped stage. With only basic lighting no over the top production, the main focus of the evening was clear giving the small crowd exactly what they wanted- the music and that they sure delivered.
With the four piece firing up into the first number of the set, the crowd appeared to warm to them slowly. With their blend of strong riffs, crisp clean guitar solos and raspy vocals, the band were slightly edging more towards a heavy indie tone suggesting the evening in store would feature a variety of different rock genres from across the spectrum. The lads moved through their short set with Geordie swagger and finesse, performing track after track in smooth silhouette often pausing to banter with the crowd.
Overall, the band lived up to that of an opening act setting the tone for the evening ahead warming the crowd up for a night of rocking hard to the sound of Leading Zeros who swiftly followed as the next act on the bill. From the moment the band took to the stage, the switch up in mood and genre was instant with the opening number of their set noticeably more hardcore and riff heavy compared to the band before, their sound appearing to be heavily influenced by the likes of Arcane Roots, At The Drive In and Biffy Clyro.
As Craig Hewitt’s deep, raspy vocals filled the room, the crowd began to find their groove, rocking hard and heavy as they rattled through a selection of old and new. The band consisting of local lads Craig, Graham, Phil and Johnnie describe their sound as being “weird and moody and kind of niche with heavy parts and unexpected changes”- a vibe that was prevalent throughout their short time on stage.
An unexpected change in the set came three songs in as the band chose to wind things down with a slow, grunge number-ever the essence of a moody rock song strangely suiting the feel and mood of the venue for this evenings show. They cranked up the pace through the final parts of their set with a selection of heavy head banging tunes- paving the way for the next act to take to the stage in their earthly shadow.
By now the crowd small intimate crowd was well and truly warmed up in time for the third act of the evening as Terry, Steve, Chris, Ross and Jamie of alt punk rock Pretty Livid Imps took to the stage adding a more guitar heavy punk vibe to the evening powering through their set with a style equivalent to that of rock bands of old often stopping to embrace the members of the crowd in warm Geordie humour and ironically named tracks loaded with rocking riffs galore.
The crowd were then treated to a surprise loaded set from Gateshead alt rock band Edge of Obsidian. Formerly known as Eden Rejects, Nikola, Thomas, James, Joey and Ben took to the stage with style and finesse to polish off a set of original songs showcasing their quirky twist on the alt rock genre, with some polished covers of Dead or Alive’s You Spin Me Round (Like a Record), Imagine Dragon’s Radioactive before ending on a unique but equally brilliant cover of Kellis’ Milkshake which earned a particularly positive reception.
The evening was then rounded off by a set of a completely different nature with an upbeat finale from ska pop punk band Kahuna. Their set captured every element of creative flare the North East has to offer from their unique take on Ska punk for which you’d be forgiven for thinking they could burst into a rendition of Baggy Trousers at any given moment. John, Ross, James, Joey and Ben brought the evening to an ending with a brilliantly quirky cover of the classic R-Kelly track Ignition, that swayed firmly away from being a cheesy rip-off of the original number.
Overall, a night of great live intimate music with five great bands showcasing the best of the independent North East music, with some fantastic covers thrown into the mix. Judging by the talent on display this evening, they’re sure destined for great things on the North East rock scene.
Check out the bands that performed on the night: