Live at The Cumberland Arms, Newcastle

I only catch the final song by opening act John Egdell, but I enter to a completely silent room so the audience are either completely rapt or completely nonplussed. I think they are rapt. Second support E'spaniel are endearingly self deprecating. This is their first gig and they're apologising before a single note has been played. No need really, because they've written a very nice batch of songs. Their sound is startlingly similar to an early (just learning the ropes) New Order, but this is actually quite an assured performance for a debut and one that will no doubt blossom.

Live at The Riverside, Newcastle

Tonight Newcastle played host to an end of tour party for two of Brooklyn's rowdiest inhabitants. The So So Glos have acted as main support for most of these UK dates (also playing a handful of headline slots on their own). They're a charismatic bunch, not conforming to any particular scene but with a general punk attitude and raucous sound.

Live at The Academy, Newcastle

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In the midst (or what some would hope is the tail end) of the great indie revival, here are two veterans who’s respective reformations pre-date the latest clutch of cash-in nostalgia acts. Echo and the Bunnymen have been touring pretty solidly since their 1997 return to prominence. And James, although they did their best to burn out with 1993’s experimental/forgettable Wah Wah, have managed to forge a successful touring and recording career since their reformation in 2007. Tonight they share a bill at the sold out Newcastle Academy.

Live at The Cluny, Newcastle

  Photo: Adam Millard An evening of dreamy jangly pop awaited this Newcastle audience as two promising purveyors of this new-new wave took the stage. First up, Fear Of Mean, a Brighton 4 piece who do the jangly dream pop thing with some aplomb. Weirdly, it comes across as being on the sleepier side of the spectrum, despite their almost relentlessly upbeat performance. They certainly look the part too, especially singer Jess Weiss who seems totally at ease up front.

Live at The Cluny, Newcastle

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Photo: Adam Hampton-Matthews First onstage tonight are Palace and the most noticable thing about Palace is that they look ridiculously young. They do, however, fall into that annoying trap of having too many guitarists (3), which there is just no need for, especially when they all seem to be playing pretty much the same thing. I can forgive this faux-pas on account of the fact that they might be growing into their respective roles, and there is certainly some promising talent on show but it does all sound a bit generic.

Live at Hoults Yard, Newcastle

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I got lost trying to find Hoults Yard...the venue is a disused (actually, there’s a gig going on so I suppose it’s now “used”) warehouse, one of a number of functioning warehouses just south of Byker, the only inkling of how to find the mythical place was the distant sound off muffled bass and the occasional puff of smoke outside a darkened doorway. Already it was starting to feel like some sort of late-80s impromptu rave-up and we hadn’t even started yet.

Live at The Cumberland Arms, Newcastle

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At first The Lindsay Tin don’t come across quite as quirky as their name and eclectic stage setup would suggest. They are a guitar duo who tease the audience with a selection of other instruments scattered around the stage and after a subdued opening of “I Am All That I Owe” the band run through some in your face folk-rock with brings to mind the straight-up bombast of Del Amitri or some other mid 90s chart botherers.

Live at The Cluny, Newcastle

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Sunderland folkies Lilliput made the short trip to Newcastle’s Cluny 2 to open up tonight, clean-cut, clinical and with an air of laddish swagger, they roll out a barrage of unyielding vocal harmonies that would make Mumford & Sons blush. I’d go so far as to say that if you love vocal harmonies then you’ll love this band, and if you don’t you most probably won’t. On the odd occasions where they move away from this formula, like on new song “All Honesty” which is a cut above the rest with its superior melody and killer guitar hook, they really show what they are capable of.

Live at The Star & Shadow Cinema, Newcastle

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The wonderful Star and Shadow cinema was the venue for Allo Darlin’s triumphant return to Newcastle, hot on the heels of this year’s universally acclaimed record Europe, the venue was bustling. First on the bill though were The Agency who, despite being from the freezing North East, have a laid back sound which wouldn’t be out of place on the sun drenched West Coast of America. And although their slightly off key vocal harmonies would give Brain Wilson nightmares, they do add a particular charm to the downbeat ditties and songs about werewolves. Fans of Galaxie 500 would be in capable hands.

Live at The Cluny, Newcastle

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The sadly defunct Riverside venue in Newcastle was obviously close to people's hearts. This gig was a fundraiser for a new documentary on the venue which is currently in production, and not only had they managed to coax Dubstar out of retirement for their first gig in 14 years, but they’d brought Kathryn Williams and David Brewis (Field Music/School Of Language) along for the ride. At five English pounds for a ticket this must surely have been the bargain of the year.