Now for something a little different as Ste and Hana from Art Mouse Promotions put on a DIY show in there house. They had Bristol Ska Punk Band Boom Boom Racoon down to play a set. I turn up to the house along with my friend Chris(Thought Trumpet) to a nice greeting from the hosts. As we were all waiting on people to show up the band set up a huge keg filled with a very home made cider. After treating myself to some of it I just knew that this was going to be like no gig I’ve been to before. Once the guests all turned up the music was ready to get started. They played a set filled with upbeat ska punk tunes mixed with political messages and pop culture references. It was hard not to get into the music and sing along. Especially with lyrics like “Dental Plan, Lisa Needs Braces). The whole night had a real DIY feel to it from the music the DIY packages for the EPS and even home made drinks. After the set I found myself getting to talk to the band and talking about different ideas it was very interesting and something that I certainly learned from. I ended up leaving with a bottle of home made sauce two bottles of cider and an EP. It was a fantastic night and shows the type of events we can expect from Art Mouse who always bring something a bit different to the local scene.
It was that time of year Twisterella Festival was here. I headed down to TSOne early for the first pint of the day and to check out Heel Turn who certainly started the day with a band. Vibrating bass lines grunge and punk influenced guitar topped of with Dale Husbands creative vocal style. Was the perfect way to start the day. I then made my way to Nel Unlit I got to the venue to an incredibly red stage and to see nine band members packed on the stage. Nine members and they still all manage to stand out and bring something different to the sound. An almost hypnotic sound with beautiful story telling in the mix. After them I choose to catch Cherry Head, Cherry Heart one of my days first clash. I did enjoy the songs that I managed to catch. An acoustic duo with a tone of on stage chemistry singing upbeat pop music. Perfect harmonies and acoustic tunes you can dance too. I made my way to Newcastle duo Talk Like Tigers who had a few people dancing to there electro pop music. If you like live music with plenty of synth than these are for you. They finished the set with the latest two singles which had me singing along. Ghost//Signals were on now and The Townhouse was packed out for them. Bringing the dark side of indie pop they certainly went down well and it was the perfect venue for them. Pit Pony were on now and this is the first band I haven’t seen before. I walked into another packed out venue whilst the band were starting the set. The music was loud with plenty of anger behind it but still manages to keep a solid rhythm behind it all. Komparrison was my choice from the pop up stages. The venue The Twisted Lip has a very cosy vibe which made it the perfect time to listen to this duo play. Chilled music with story’s of relationships, Pain, Anger and McDonald’s these are always one to watch out for at these festivals. After them I went to catch The Vegan Leather a favorite of mine the bands style is something I can easy get behind. Every song is so much fun to listen to and the live performance sounds huge. Like the attitude and front of The Talking Heads meets the disco rhythm of The Bee Gees. After that I caught Agoraphobia who were next on the card and this defines everything I love about rock music tight and stand out riffs powerful rock vocals and an hard hitting rhythm section. Martha Hill hit the stage with her band and once again put on one hell of a show. Harmonies were spot on as always great music that anyone can relate to. It’s hard to not appreciate everything that she puts into her shows and music. Then it was time for Peaness who I have been wanting to see in such A long time. The live performance is spot on they have really created an upbeat indie pop sound that anyone can get behind. They had a few of the fans singing and dancing to almost every word one of my favorites of the day. The Pearl Harts were up next and this was another act I was excited for. Riff heavy blues rock are the word I think of when it comes to this band. They played songs new and some of the classics from the album Glitter and Spit. The perfect headliners for the TSOne stage. I walked in during Pom Poko‘s set and I am glad that I did. The music has a huge party vibe a lot of quirkiness and was excited and incredibly upbeat. At one point the whole room felt like it was shaking. Saint Agnes gave us something different to say the least. A dark and loud set with heavy riffs and an overall chilling vibe. The singer know how work the stage and crowd and really got everyone behind them. I felt myself getting hooked to every single note. Another fantastic headline slot. Dylan Cartilage was my final act of the day someone who is no stranger to the festival. This time he headlined absolutely made the most of it. Dylan’s music since the last time he played the festival has evolved into something special heavy of the bass and groove with more catchy hooks. Dylan and the band really closed the show off in style.
Base Camp was the venue for this show and it had AMPT and Hun teaming up to put on a night of live music and art. I turned up just as everything was starting. WhenI got there Sophie and Dan from GGALLANPARTRIDGE were starting their DJ set. After a checking out some of art on display and enjoying the DJ set we were ready for the first act. Me Lost Me kicked the live music off and this was the second time seeing her perform for myself. She puts on a very captivating show mixing a folk style with a chilled electro style. Everything about the set was very creative she started with an a cappella song. After that every song uses all kinds of effects and loops and every songs keeps everyone in attendance interested and curious to where every song is going. A fantastic way to kick things off. The second act Picnic were on next a band playing Middlesbrough for the first time. It’s like a mix of groovy jazz music with a mix of modern pop music. The whole set was very fun and had a few people in the room dancing along. Songs like the singles Girls Night and Wishful Drinking proven to be massive live hits along with a couple of newer tracks. They showed the Middlesbrough crowd why there’s so much hype behind them and we all loved it. The Noise And The Naive finished the show in an incredible unique way so they played a couple of songs before getting a spinning board out it had a selection of songs on it which they invited people to spin and select which song comes next. This meant that they ended up playing the same song three times in a row even swapping instruments twice in a row at one point. It was interesting and brilliant and went on until the board landed on end which ended the show. They are one of ny favorite punk band right now and they gave us a show that was very fitting for this very gig.
Live music on a Monday night doesn’t sound right but with a line up like the one Sad For Life Records put together here it was guaranteed to be an awesome Monday. I got to the venue in good time and was pleasantly surprised to see almost a full house before the first act. It was Girl From Winter Jargon who kicked the show off. If you’ve ever see GFWJ perform before you know that your are in for a treat. She plays a one person show mixed with incredible blues like guitar work strong vocals and creative work on a loop pedal and various other effects. From start to finish I found myself glued to each note and each word and judging from other peoples reactions I wasn’t the only one. Mouses were on second playing the first Teesside show since Mousetival. For me I just knew how good this gig was going to be by the fact that these were in a support slot. They played mostly newer and unreleased songs with a few of the classics mixed in. These have really perfected everything that they do. They know how to the audience involved and singing along whilst singer Ste made his way into the audience a few times. The whole set was brilliant because they did a good job of warming the stage up for the headline act an incredibly fun and exciting show at the same time. Cultdreams finished the show this being 1/2 last show of the tour. I was really looking forward to this set after hearing the album “Things that Hurt”. They did not disappoint live what so ever. There’s so much energy passion and meaning to every single song. It was a great mix of DIY Punk Rock with a modern Shoegaze sound and they take on topics personal to them and to many audience members that could be relatable at times. Songs that stood out to me were “Not My Generation” and “Sad”. Overall it was a very fun show especially considering it was on a Monday night.
After another hard choice of many gigs I ended up going to Doc Browns for the Friday night Goosed show. We were treat to three acts this night and I got to the venue just before the first act had started. Thought Trumpet was that act starting the set with a song called Your Story. This song is more of a folky song and out of all of his songs it feels like the best way to start the set. Because as the set goes on it slowly transforms into the one man grunge show that we know from his final two songs Here Comes The Smoke and Ugly. I felt that this os one of the best sets I have heard him play because he seems to understand what he wants from his sets each and every time that he performs. The set went down very well with the people watching. The second act Cosmic Circles were performing their first ever live show and I was very keen on hearing them. They kicked things of with an epic sounding instrumental song which really gave you a feel of what the band are about. The set has hints of 80’s synth pop and some songs are nice and chilled and others are a more dance fueled pop songs. The vocals were outstanding like imagine Stevie Nicks fronting a synth pop band and the music had some incredibly tight and groovy rhythm and some interesting guitar and synth work. I highly recommend checking these out I feel like they are going to become a popular local act as time goes on. ManFrog headlined the show and played a fun set filled with epic guitar riffs and incredibly catchy and fun rock tunes. They take a huge range of influences from many rock genres and mix them into one there’s a little Punk, New Wave, Garage Rock, Prog Rock and so much more. When the set finished it was clear that everyone in the room had a great time watching these bands mixed with the great vibes that Goosed are bringing to Doc Browns.
Last night I headed over to Stockton Music Lounge to catch a punk rock show. I got down as the band were setting up and preparing for the gig. First band up was SkyRush a delightful mix of pop rock with a punk twist. The band played an incredibly upbeat set filled with gorgeous harmonies which have each song that extra feel good boost. More and more people made there way into the venues during the set which is good because they caught a band who kicked this show of very well. The Hangmen were on second and what can O say about these. If you like your punk hard hitting fast and full of attitude these are the band for you. They are clearly a band with a following judging from the reaction to many of the people in attendance. What also catches my eye is big double bass used. It gives them a unique look and sound great in the punk rock mix. Then The SoapGirls were up and I was really looking forward to catching these play. A band that represent freedom of expression and sing songs about things that are close to their hearts. Every song felt so catchy and created such a great gig atmosphere in the room. During the set more and more people in the audience toke their tops of and the band had them all dancing and just really have a wonderful time. For me that kind of expression is brilliant it was just a room of people really enjoying themselves and forgetting about the world whilst this awesome band entertain us all. It was everything that live music should be about and of you ever get the chance to see these live you should do it.
The third Mousetival and after the fun of the first two I was really looking forward to this day. Just like the the first two it was to be a day filled with bands that I have and have not see before. So I got to the show early enough to catch the surprise that kicks of the show. Last year I missed The Pixies tribute that they did but this year both guys from Mouses swapped instruments and played a White Strips tribute. They did it very well with the bands fuzzy rock style and both members vocals. It’s a really interesting touch to an awesome day having a nice surprise to kick it all off. The first act came out it was Eddie and the Valkyries who were a great way to start this festival the band have songs that are very laid back and others that are more upbeat and exciting. I think they played the part of first band very well kicking it off and getting people in the mood for the day. But they also played a stand out and memorable set. After them we had Ghost//Signals a band from Newcastle this was the second time for me seeing this the first being back on 2017. They have changed quite a bit since then. They still have the catchy rhythm and hooks but the sound has become more intriguing. A good mix of Indie Rock, Alternative Rock with an almost 80’s gothic rock sound in the mix. They are certainly a band to look out for. After them we got DUCK from Sheffield usually a three piece but playing as a two for the day. They played a mix of Synth Pop mixed with diy punk music. The whole set sounded very unique to any band with a synth pop influence. The music upbeat and catchy and kept at a steady pace whilst the vocals were very hypnotic. Unstoppable Sweetie Show were on after them and I was very interested in hearing what these sound like live. The bands sound is absolutely bizarre they mix a bunch of genres I never thought I’d hear played together and I loved it. A bit of Jazz, Ska, Punk, Pop, Satire they had it all in each and every song. I listened the some of the songs before seeing them and that didn’t preper me for what I saw. They were incredibly fun and I would love the chance to catch them again. The we had Nervous Twitch make their return to Stockton. They are an incredibly fun band to watch garage punk music with upbeat pop melody’s. The overall sound reminds me of bands like The Buzzcock or The Undertones with a modern take in the songs. The song “That weird guy” being a stand out song for me. They went down very well and have proven to be a much liked band in Stockton both times that they have came down. GGALLANPARTRIDGE were up and it’s felt like a while since I have seen these perform. First thing that I noticed is they had a new member on stage playing violin. The more noise the more instruments the better for a band like GGALLANPARTRIDGE. The band are one of my favorites because they manage to take on loads of personal subjects and mix them with there own brand of satire. The influence seems to be mix of various styles of punk rock. The sax and the violin together give the whole thing a darker tone along with the loud and creative guitar work a diffent but unique take on riot grrrl vocals and a hard and steady beat to top it all of. They have proven to be a force in the Teesside scene and I hope that continues. Charmpit were up now and I had a lot of fun watching these perform. A strong american pop punk style. I have been wanting to see them for ages since I first heard the EP. The music was upbeat fun and exciting and between songs they had such great chemistry with the audience with humor and charm. An absolute highlight of the day for me. Dead Naked Hippies were back in Stockton the second time this month and what a welcome sight it was. You can tell how liked these are from the start of the set. They had people dancing and smiling from start to finish. It’s no surprise really they are filled with raw power and emotion. They are one of the most exciting live bands band you will see. Post Punk band Crumbs were up next and these also had people dancing along. It felt like a mad Mix between Blondies early work and The Talking Heads. All the songs had very catchy and funked up rhythm and bass behind a fuzzy guitar sound. I loved it when they started playing the song Cha Cha Feels a favorite of mine. They played as main headline very well gave the whole night a real party feeling. After them Mouses were ready to hit the stage with a mix of new and old Songs. If you’ve ever seen Mouses before you may know how fun of a show these put on. Playing a mix of old a new songs with plenty of crowd involvement and interaction. By the end of the set you just though they have done it again. Three very successful Mousetivals it has become a date to look forward to for Teesside. They give you a chance to meet new people see new bands and put every effort into making everyone feel welcome.
On a night that Teesside had so much on I choose to watch Dead Naked Hippies in Stockton. I got to the event early to check out some of the awesome art on display including a display from DNH’s own Singer Lucy. Her famous custom red jacket was on display with lyrics sheets. Also art from Emmy Mae-Roxby. She had a set of hand drawings included one I really liked of Lady GaGa. Anyway the music was about to start and it kicked off with Jamie Farrell who opened the night with an acoustic set. A mix of originals and covers. He kicked the show of very well and had people singing along with his various covers. The second act was Eddie and the Valkyries a northern folk pop band from the North East. I feel like the band have stepped it up quite a bit. When I first saw them they did catchy folk music and they still do that but the set feels more powerful with plenty more attitude. It feels like they are mixing the original ideas of a folk pop and and mixing it in with new ideas and different influences. For me it was the most enjoyable set that I’ve seen from them because it got me excited to see where they are heading musically. The headline band were up now Dead Naked Hippies and my word what a set they gave to us in Stockton. Every song just sounds as exciting as the last. Punchy and heavy riffs met with incredible catchy hooks. There’s also a lot of emotion with in the mix in Lucys lyrics and in the way the music is performed. They are one of my favorite acts around right now and they het better every time I see them. They topped of another fantastic vinyl night.
I decided to take a chance on a Music Lounge gig because the gig was filled with acts that I have never seen before. First act was Holly Jade Christlow she was performing a mix of covers and original music. She showed a great vocal range from song to song and proved that she has the ability to to jump from various music genres. She really gets into the mood of the more upbeat songs even getting members of the audience singing along. I think she’s going to be a singer worth looking out for I predict a bright future of she continues putting on sets like whilst working as hard as she seems to be. The second act Mollys Kiss were up two singers one guitar playing a lovely mix of blues and folk music. Every song was incredibly catchy and seemed to have such great hook. The guitar work was very creative and really complimented the bands strong vocal style. The last band was Follow Deep a alternative rock/Indie band from Hull. After checking out some of the bands music online I was very excited to hear it out loud. I was not disappointed the bands loud alt/indie sound was a joy to witness but with added saxophone during some song is something I really enjoyed. They had one member who switched from Saxophone to Keyboard to Bass Guitar which gave the songs a different vibe from start to finish. The whole set was like a tight mix of modern indie to alternative rock of the 90’s. Fun, catchy and loud with plenty of attitude. I’d like to see these back to the area when ever I can.
The third Sonic Sisters Club was here and it’s made it three in a row for myself. I’m going to get to as many of these shows as I can because so far it’s delivered some awesome bands. This night was no different. I got to the show before the first act Charlotte Grayson who is now a two times Sonic Sister a she also played the first night. The third one saw her playing solo on acoustic. She started the set with her song “Maybe” which is also the love song of the set. Charlotte is good at telling a story in her songs which have influences of Indie Pop with bits of Country music shot in. She played her latest single “Drunk Girls” in the middle of the set. That song got a great reaction from the crowed. Her overall performance just gets better every time I see her perform she is certainly an act worth checking out. The second band was Salsola a band who have certainly been making a name of themselves in the past couple of years. They seem to have realized the potential of their sound since releasing the latest single “Embers”.A tight rhythm section a shoegazey and dream pop guitar parts topped with singer Vicky unique vocals style give these an edge to be able to stand out in any line up. They finished with the next single “Cass”. A class set by Salsola they certainly got a good response. The headline band Marine were like nothing that I have ever heard before. The music was just so hypnotic it all had a laid back kind of groove to it. Every song felt that it had a different influence behind them. It was all topped of with stunning harmonies and vocals. The only song I heard before seeing them was Big Dog which gave me a different impression going into the gig. The song stands out more for the more upbeat nature of it. But for me that was the best thing about the set because I was left pleasantly shocked by the set. They are a band who I’ll be looking out for.