Saturday, 6 March 2010

In New Music We Trust - Live

Lady GaGa played at Newcastle Metro Radio Arena on Thursday night, apparently revealing her tiny wang to the audience. The show attracted a bunch of Carnival Kids in fancy dress, trying to outdo GaGa's own crazy dress sense.
In the Meantime, Radio 1's very own Zane Lowe had taken over the O2 Academy for a night of magic and mayhem, playing host to Plan B, The Courteeners and The Futureheads. The gig kicked off a weekend of live music in Newcastle as part of the In New Music We Trust campaign which is showcasing at venues all over the city centre.
Back at the Academy and it's packed out before any bands have even come on, which is a rarity for a lot of gigs up in Newcastle. But the rest of the gigs up here don't have Zane Lowe DJing.
Zane has been presenting on Radio 1 for a number of years now, alongside presenting MTV's Gonzo as well as also playing in his own band Breaks Co-op. He's one of those people who has achieved superstar status, attracting listeners from all over the globe.
7pm and we're live on Radio 1. And it's manic.
First up is Plan B, who's bigging up his new album, The Defamation of Strickland Banks, which looks into a different style to what we're used to Plan B sounding like. The 'former' rapper, has experimented with a more soul sound but couldn't quite put it across live. The backing band were spot on and would have been perfect if it hadn't been for him.
The Courteeners have been getting quite a bit of attention lately and their fanbase is big enough proof that songs like Not Nineteen Forever and You Overdid It Doll are certainly clicking with the nation. Hannah Blundell, who unfortunately couldn't make it to the gig explained why The Courteeners are so popular. "I love the lyrics because simply they're really nice and I like how catchy their songs are. I became a fan because I was in my friend's car and she had them on so I listened at home to the new album and just loved it."
The second album Falcon came out last month hitting a mighty number 6. And it seems most of the sales had come from almost every person in the room as it was hard to find someone who wasn't singing along to every word.
It was coming to the last hour of Zane's slot on Radio 1 and his highlights so far included breaking a disc with a copy of Blur's Song 2 on it ("That's what happens when you use your own scratched CDs") and a rousing rendition of Maxïmo Park's Apply Some Pressure from the crowd. Maxïmo Park are always a hit in Newcastle and are very much due a tour. Their last album Quicken The Heart was released last May and is their least anthemic album. The band played a free show in promotion as well as appearing at HMV for a signing session.
Back at the Academy and The Futureheads are preparing to rock the venue with their unique style of post-punk, drawing influence from Devo, XTC and Gang of Four. This is the first show the Sunderland lads have played in the Newcastle since 2008 when they played The Sage so how better than to perform a comeback give the crowd a well awarded preview of new album The Chaos. And it was a comeback well done. The setlist included new tracks such as The Chaos and The Heartbeat Song as well as slipping in crowd favourites The Beginning of The Twist and Carnival Kids. Halfway through the set the crowd were split in two after singer Barry Hyde asked "Who wants to sing on the radio?" before kicking into Kate Bush's Hounds of Love. The 'Heads revisited their first album a number of times even playing "One of our more stupid songs" First Day, which looks to once again become a permanent track within their setlist. Twisting and turning through crowd pleasers and new songs The Futureheads played a choice pick of songs and it was good to see the crowd enjoyed the newer songs as well as the old ones. The O2 Academy is a great venue for this band, having been the ones who played the night it was re-opened this was an excellent chance to preview their fourth album.

The Futureheads are back on tour in May following the release of The Heartbeat Song on 12th April and The Chaos on the 26th. They are back in Newcastle on May 30th for the Evolution Festival. Tickets are on sale now from Ticketweb, the Evolution website, O2 Academy Box Offices and HMV city centre stores. Also playing is Sunderland's other band Field Music alongside The Horrors and Dananananaykroyd.

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