Sumday @ The Westgarth In Middlesbrough Sunday 5th May 2013

Over the past few years those wonderful people at The Kids are Solid Gold have put on some amazing gigs. But I truly believe that last Sunday’s was the best. Yes, there’s been better individual performances but for a band by band extravaganza this takes some beating. 8 bands, one after the other, getting better and better as the night went on:

GENERAL SHERMAN

First up are local kids General Sherman. Now I have a soft spot for this band as I used to teach 3 of them and am friends with the other 2. But, but, that’s not why I think they’re great. I think that because they are. Like Malcolm Middleton fronting Godspeed you Black Emperor they make a slow, melancholic sound that drags you in and pummels you into submission. They look nervous as they open proceedings but with performances like this they will soon grow into rock monsters.

PORT AUTHORITY

A vibrant all action 3 piece in the mould of the Jam or Cream. Lead singer bounds about the stage whilst the rhythm section pound out tune after tune in the fashion of the Walkmen and the Godfathers.

FAKE MAJOR

My new favourite band! Beards, serious shirts and a batch of tunes that had the audience open mouthed throughout. In the spirit of Grandaddy, Bon Iver and Midlake. They were on their first visit down south after finally escaping the confines of Inverness. They return in June to support Cattle & Cane at Preston Park Museum which is shaping up to be a classic. On this performance alone they have been officially adopted into the Sound of Young Scotland movement.

DEEP SEA ARCADE

All the way from Australia these cool cats have recently played with Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Birds. They look like they’ve stepped straight out of Woodstock. All hippy 60s chic. The lead singer looking like a young Syd Barret. We have to add the word kaleidoscopic to this review just to give you the vibe of the whole thing, man!!! But despite the obvious 60s throwback they are great.

RICHARD WALTERS

Just when you think things cannot get any better Richard Walters appears. Apparently he’s been around for years but like most here he is a new proposition to me. And some proposition he is too. With a voice like Billy MacKenzie and a stage presence like Woodpigeon he strides the down stairs stage like a colossus. Looking forward to familiarising myself with his latest LP; “Regret Less” and then seeing him when I can sing along. My new favourite artist #2!!!

CHARLIE BOYER & THE VOYEURS

Probably the band I was most excited about seeing. but after the wealth of talent I had just witnessed could they live up to the hype? Well yes and no. They have a few great tunes, bags of confidence and with the weight of Heavenly behind them they should go far. But on this day of real musical talent they were at times a bit too contrived. This is maybe due to the hype which as we know can often be as negative as it is positive. Speaking to them afterwards they are lovely fellas who given time and room to breath may well be the superstars we are being promised.

WASHINGTON IRVING

What can I say about my best buddys?? I’ve seen these boys countless times but they never fail to please. With the release of half a debut album they bound onto stage full of whisky and confidence. To say the crowd love them is an understatement. You would truly believe that they were local lads playing a triumphant homecoming. Is there anywhere that loves Washington Irving like Middlesbrough?? They play almost all of their half debut and some half debut it is too. If the second half is even half as good then it’ll be amazing as a whole. A full on love in with the adoring crowd prove that there are no half measures where these boys are concerned.

WOODENBOX (WITH A FISTFUL OF FIVERS)

How do you headline this? Easy. Woodenbox are like Washington Irving’s big brothers. And like one of the family they are loved in equal measures. Their new album is not yet out but the tunes they play from it look like its gonna be a killer. Tracks from their debut are greeted like long lost lovers. They are truly a great live band. And then after almost 6 hours of music it’s all over almost as soon as it began. A truly splendid end to an amazing evening. Like Richard Walters I look forward to learning the new album. I also look forward to seeing all these bands again. Soon.

A big thanks to all the bands. To Andy and Phil at The Kids are Solid Gold. To the staff at the Westgarth and to all those in attendance. A truly magical night.

LINKS:

GENERAL SHERMAN: http://generalshermanmusic.bandcamp.com/

PORT AUTHORITY:https://soundcloud.com/theportauthority

FAKE MAJOR: http://www.fakemajor.com/

DEEP SEA ARCADE: http://www.myspace.com/deepseaarcade

RICHARD WALTERS: http://www.richardwaltersmusic.co.uk/

CHARLIE BOYER & THE VOYEURS:http://charlieboyerandthevoyeurs.tumblr.com/

WASHINGTON IRVING: http://www.washingtonirvingband.com/

WODENBOX: http://www.wdnbx.com/

THE KIDS ARE SOLID GOLD: http://thekidsaresolidgold.co.uk/

By peter on May 11, 2013


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