Young Rebel Set And Cattle And Cane And The O’s @ The Cluny2, Newcastle 16th February 2011

Young Rebel Set, Cattle and Cane and The O’s: Wed 16th Feb at Cluny 2 by Simon Carey.

Sat in a meeting after work and it is becoming increasingly obvious that this is not going to finish much before 7. I’m tired, hungry and contemplating a night vegging on the sofa watching Arsenal v Barca. But I’d arranged to go to a gig at the Cluny in Newcastle to see some of the finest talents that the North East can throw at you. So after a hasty tea (chip shop style) and a quick change we soon head up the A19. I tell you of this prelude to my review because live music is the antidote to lethargy and boy the 3 bands playing tonight were the Red Bulls of rock!

 It was my second visit to the Cluny but my first to Cluny 2. A great intimate venue! Enough said!

First up were The O’s, a 2 piece from Texas. Imagine a one man band where the gadgie plays guitar, drums, harmonica, tambourine, uekele, a lowebro (google it!!) and just about anything else he can lay his hands on. Well now double that image! The guys had just flown in that day from the US and had scrambled their way up to Newcastle with only minutes to spare. A healthy crowd of well over a 100 were there and their rip roaring mix of folk, rock and country (their description not mine) went down a treat. Headline tracks were ‘We will go walking’, ‘‘You’ve got your Heart’ ‘California’ ‘All good cafe’ and the fantastic finale ‘I love you so much’. Rotating between lead vocals Taylor and John had a vibrant, foot stomping 30 minute slot that will have left many in the crowd trawling their My Space page the next day. Well worth it in my opinion. or http://www.wearetheo’

 Second band of the night were the well documented Cattle and Cane. I managed to grab a few minutes with Francis and Helen pre-gig and they were looking forward to the show, but more importantly their EP release gig at the Westgarth on the 1st April. Francis informed me that tickets were selling fast so if you haven’t got yours now you had better get your skates on! They have just filmed their first video too for ‘Sold my soul’ using some of the sites of the surrounding Teesside area (not including the cooling towers or smog), but the picturesque area around Carlton Bank. As for tonight’s gig C&C continue to make huge strides in their development. The crowd had grown in numbers and it was good to see some of Thornaby’s finest (Walmsley and Adams) supporting their local band. The high reputation C&C are getting is evident that many have come to see them again as they sing along with Joe Hammill. He is growing in confidence as a front man and I thought his performance tonight was as good as I have seen from him. C&C have such a good range of songs from slower growers like the fantastic ‘Belle’ to the moodier ‘This is Where Go From’ that even in the quieter tracks you listen intently to the inspiring lyrics. Helen’s harmonies are like sugar coated sweets complimenting Joe’s more gravel-esque style (that is a good thing Joe!!). 

To finish C&C play their 2 showcase songs ‘Sold My Soul’ and ‘The Poacher’. There is healthy debate about which is their best. ‘Sold My Soul’ could be a hit when it is released soon if it gets good airplay. It just gets better live every time and it must be a great buzz for the band when a large majority of the crowd are singing along to it. Good luck and I can’t wait for my free copy of the EP However, I have a massive soft spot for The Poacher too. It allows Joe to show his range of vocals and for the band to really highlight their skills as fantastic musicians. It is still hard to comprehend how much success C&C have had in such a short time and long may it continue. For those who are serious about supporting their local bands I’ll see you at the Westgarth for the single launch party-if you don’t go you’ll be the April Fool!!

The headline act was Stockton’s Young Rebel Set. Strangely I had not seen as a full band until tonight but had seen Billy the Kid playing acoustic sets so was familiar with most of their tunes. And what a fabulous introduction it was for me. A barnstorming 45 minutes of top songs, great craic between the band and a high energy performance from Matty (aka Billy) on vocals. The banter between Matty and Paddy (guitar and keyboards) was a strong feature throughout.

Opening up with ‘Down the Line’ YRS had the crowd engaged immediately. ‘Measure of a Man’ was next up and is one of my personal favourites and one of their singles. Check out the video featuring Jo Hartley from ‘This is England’ on You Tube.

‘Already forgotten Your Name’ was another stormer. To me it was Pogues meets Dubliners with a Teesside slant! ‘Fall Hard’ was another personal favourite. With a hint of ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ about it ‘Fall Hard’ was a big hit with the masses. Young Rebel Set are hopefully ready for big things. They have the range and quality of songs like ‘Precious Days’ and ‘Criminal’ to keep a 150+ audience entertained, dancing and singing along. Lyrically they are superb. Well written songs, clever one liners and a very tight performance from all the band. When Paddy plays piano he still craves the attention and he pulls this off with one of the tunes of the night ‘Borders’. Dave on harmonica really gets going on this track too. One wag in the crowd calls him the Bez of the band, but that is unfair as he adds to the band as much as rest of the musicians. I’m particularly impressed with Chris and Andrew on acoustic and bass, but as with any band who has a mandolin player in, Mark Evans should be applauded for his performance.

The single ‘Won’t get up Again’ from last summer is a pure belter. Check it out to see the boys at their best. The following track ‘Red Bricks’ is another fave for me. And ‘Lions Mouth’ goes down well next. As with C&C 2 stand out tracks are kept back for the finale. ‘If I Was’ is an immense tune, all about misspent time playing guitar instead of pursuing love and the regrets that go with that. Lines such as ‘If I was betting man I’d bet you’d love me too, I’d bet everything I had for a chance to be with you, Oh if I was a betting man my odds would be 9/2’.  Young Rebel Set deserve to make it big time. The qualities of their tracks are there, the chemistry between the band is cracking and the ability to play the crowd is credit to the 7 members. As if all the previous had not been enough they close with the mesmerising ‘Walk on’

A great gig! A superb venue! 3 bands of the highest quality all for the price of a couple of pints! Arsenal V Barca? No way!! Live music is the new Football!! From Texas to Stockton, via Thornaby as the crowd sings ‘Walk On………

By peter on February 22, 2011

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