When presented with the image of an ‘asylum’ you’d be more than right to assume chaos in a dark, dingy and confined place, which makes for naming a gig ‘The Asylum’ a rather weird concept. At least you may think that. But in the Jumpin’ Jacks Asylum... a small tissue box sized darkened room on the top floor of a run-down Newcastle pub, rock chaos was undoubtedly about to unfold.
Entering ‘The Asylum’ to the sound of the Monster Mash blaring from the speaker set was a sight to behold, the typically dark and grungy room with a small bar had been significantly darkened more so than usual, with the room made significantly smaller by a cramped but rather cluttered stage set up in the corner where in just over an hour’s time Insanity was to be unleashed upon the masses when North East rockers Tomorrow is Lost hit the stage in all their punk finesse and style.
While the aim of this evening’s intimate gig was to raise the roof in all their rock and glory, the band were also hosting the ultimate celebration; ending a week they had hailed as “a shit week but also the best week of their lives”. Just a short 24 hours ago, Cass, Joe, Ryan, Adam and Andrew finally hit release on their debut single ‘Insane’ on iTunes and Spotify after months of hard graft and dedication, which had not only seen the band sell out an entire venue in their hometown but also release a CD and music video.
As the main band got pumped for what was their night after all, the celebration got underway. A warm-up was in order to get the ever growing crowd of Geordie revellers psyched for the mayhem about to ensue. Tonight’s warm-up came in the shape of another band of talented local rockers Plastic Thieves, who despite only being announced as replacements for Cherry Leather on Monday blew the roof off the place with a polished set of original indie hits.
The three-piece made up of Samuel, Dean and Jimmy bounced onto the stage shortly before 8pm equipped with style, stage presence and Geordie banter in droves. Bursting into their opening number which set the tone for an evening of heavy rock music perfectly with the first few guitar riffs echoing through the small venue and the beat of the drum touching every essence of your core as it travelled right through the floor.
As the band powered their way through the first half of their short but ever so perfected set of original songs that saw the perfect blend of polished riffs and pure raspy vocal abilities, the influences of Radiohead were aplenty.
A pleasant surprise came mid-way through their set as the band burst unexpectedly into a rendition of Foo Fighters classic My Hero – a cover polished off with great finesse and style. It was almost unrecognisable had it not been for the unmistakable trademark guitar riffs during the intro of the song. Nevertheless, it was made completely their own with Gardner’s softer approach to the songs lyrical prowess than that of Dave Grohl’s giving the epic song an almost new and completely different meaning.
This was soon followed by numbers such as Solution which saw the evening dive into the realms of a heavier style of rock oozing many elements similar to that of Rage Against The Machine. While second to last song, Alter Ego, had singer Samuel showing off his vocal ability to the max with a dark and somewhat theatrical rock tone not too dissimilar to that of Muse showman Matt Bellamy. He provided the perfect blend with that of the heavy bass lines of the songs in the later part of the set, creating the perfect mood for the headline artists to hit the stage and rock the world... and rock the world they did indeed.
Bursting onto the stage in a scene not that dissimilar to Michael Jackson’s famous Thriller music video, the female-fronted punk band remained heavily shrouded by smoke for a large portion of their opening number, which saw singer Cass King own the packed stage from the off; with bundles of eccentricity, attitude and showmanship galore.
Two tracks in and the band had already raised the roof in their own unique, powerful and stylish fashion before rolling out a unique totally punked-up rendition of Sia’s Elastic Heart, completely unrecognisable from the original packed with classic rock n roll spice, a more edgy approach to the songs vocals in comparison to the soft vocals of the Australian Songstress who made the song famous.
This was followed swiftly by a number of original tracks oozing galore with big rock ready riffs, heavy bass lines and head banging drumbeats. Cass King kills it, with her Courtney Love/Blondie esque stage persona equipped with big hair, over the top stage makeup, extravagant gestures that help portray the passion and emotion behind the lyrics which clearly mean a great deal to the down to earth Geordie lass whose family had gathered in the front row with pride.
Before long it was finally time to head into the “song of the night” Insane, a moody mysterious rock ballad style number which saw the lights dimmed right down to bare minimum and the atmosphere shift significantly becoming gloomier and much more sombre as the vocals started out almost whispery but all the while hauntingly emotive and beautiful. While you may be forgiven for thinking this all sounds a bit drab, this was simply not the case as the song gradually builds and progresses into what can only be described as a rock anthem capable of wowing a crowd on a much bigger level then the one before them this evening.
Nevertheless, the songs live debut was met with a hugely positive reaction from the Geordie revellers who went on to request more songs from the band. Despite having no encore planned the band returned to play one more number and at the request of the crowd played Insane again one last time. The crowd then proceeded to mob the band as they left the stage.
Check out the official video for the new single insane now: https://youtu.be/mGH4kcbxg-I