Live at The Cluny, Newcastle
Kicking things off tonight are a local power-duo Gallery Circus who treat the early arrivals to a breakneck dose of loud but slightly over-polished garage rock, seemingly aimed at the Kings Of Leon generation. It’s technically excellent but an odd match for the crowd of lo-fi aficionados eagerly awaiting headline act, The Wave Pictures. The band are touring on the back of yet another excellent LP, Beer In The Breakers, released this year without a great deal of hullabaloo to a growing batch of loyal fans. Tonight they dig straight into the new material opening with the sprightly duo of "Blue Harbor" and "Little Surprise", the latter of which gives front man David Tattersall the platform to show off his knack of making the most complex guitar riffs look easy, finger picking the speedy opening refrain without so much as a second thought. It’s not just Tattersall who takes center stage though, drummer Johnny Helm takes vocal duty on the gorgeous "Sleepy Eye" (part of which is sung unamplified to a rightfully absorbed audience) and despite being the “quiet one” of the trio, Franic Rozycki’s meandering bass lines are a joy to behold. As the main set draws to a close we get a rare oldie (meaning pre-2010) with "Strawberry Cables" and it’s apparent that the band have managed to virtually ignore their best known material whilst keeping the crowd engaged throughout. This theory is further proven when the band return for an encore and play a stunningly intense new album track "Walk the Back Stairs Quiet". Amazing.