Gig Review #23 Stockton Calling 


Some people call it Easter Weekend but I call it Stockton Calling weekend. Over 70 bands playing 9 venues in one day. What’s not to love about that? I got there nice and early sorted my wristband in The Arc and shot over to The Sun Inn for Chaos Jigsaw. You’ve got to choose wisely when it comes to the first act of the day. I think I did just that the groovy bass tracks alone were enough to get the day started. Better than a bowl of corn flakes anyway. The whole set was a Chaos Jigsaw doing what they do best and that’s perform new and fresh hip hop music with allot of charisma behind it. The second act of my day was Samantha Durnan. Samantha and her band were in good spirits from the start of the set. With the release of her first album “Want to wander” on the way it’s easy to know why. The room was packed out for the set. The set was 7 tracks of catchy and upbeat pop music. The harmonies are something I always enjoy st Samantha’s shows. Once Samantha had finished I went over to The Music Lounge for Scream of Sirens. After some hip hop and pop music I needed a Little Rock music to balance the day. This three piece from the toon of Newcastle were perfect for that. Heavy on guitar riffs and a good mix of punk glam rock and old school rock n roll make this band stand out for me. There was a moment when the guitar had a slight issue but guitarist Ruth made it sound like it was meant to happen and totally brilliant moment. I then went over to catch The Citadels a almost modish band with some really good and catchy music. They had a decent turn out and everyone’s seemed to be well into the bands music. After that I choose to see Mali Hayes at The Sun Inn. An act I have never seen before but had heard nothing but good thing leading into Stockton Calling. I’m glad I choose to watch her and the band it was a very chilled set. You can’t help but get lost in Mali’s strong vocals it really is quite the experienc. After Mali I headed back to The Music Lounge to catch Darlingtons own Black Sheep Frederick Dickens and what an incredible turn out these had. It’s not hard to see why it’s something so very different. Haunting melodys and music that’s been very well put together played by band member Rob and on top of that you have the charismatic almost gothic vocals by Dave Saunders. Playing a mix of new and old music the set was one Im glad I didn’t miss. I had a rock round Stockton for a little break untill the band False Advertising hit The Music Lounge. I’ve been wanting to see this band for such a long time and I’m glad I did. It felt like grunge music at it’s finest. With hints of 90’s rock bands like Nirvana and Garbage they were certainly a highlight of the day for me. Shame about the small turn out for them. Hopefully I get to see them again very soon. After a small food break I went to catch The Van T’s I was over the moon when I saw these on the line up. I saw them at Twiterella Festival last year and have been a fan since. A smart mix of pop and rock music is what drew me to them. But there’s more to them than that. They manage to mix various styles within the music and they play them all to perfection. Everyone in Storytellers were very much into the music from start to finish. I rush over to Pussywillowfurryvenus at Music Lounge walked in during the set. So I missed the song “Sticky Vicky” which is a bloody shame I’ll have you know. If you’ve seen Pussy before you know what to expect and that’s an awesome show. They didn’t let us down an explosion of very creative music loudness and allot of energy in the performance. Each members brings allot of character in the live shows that you can’t help but just stand there or dance and be fascinated. I waited around untill Narcs hit the Music Lounge stage. Hitting the stage covered in some form of writting on each member they looked ready to tear The Music Lounge down. And that they did just that playing loud grunge like music with allot of meaning and passion is what makes these stand out. The passion in each word singer James Wilkinson sings with always has its way of making it way to the audience. The start of each song always feels like it’s building to something big and they never fail to do so. So I’m almost at the end of the review with Georgian headline act Cattle and Cane. This is my first visit to the venue since the do over. It’s looking great and what better band to enjoy with with than Cattle and Cane. It’s hard to discribe the vibe these bring but I can say they always bring out the best in the audience. With album number two on the way it was easy for the van to select a solid set list that had new and older songs. If anyone was born to be in a band it’s these. It’s clear they all work very well together and know exactly what the fans want. With everyone singing along to the songs we know or just taking in the positive energy it was another brilliant set from the band. My highlights of the set were “Bird song” “Love on your hands” and Fool For You”. A great end to a awesome day of Live Music. Cya next year. 

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