You might know it best as the home of Geordie Shore, Brown Ale and loud football fans. But as a proud dweller of Newcastle upon Tyne, I can report that the city has a lot more to offer than trashy TV and boozy hooligans. The Toon’s music scene is where it’s all happening right now and there are bucket loads of talented artists waiting to be unearthed. Many have already made the proverbial leap to better things and some are on the verge of doing the same. So without further ado, here’s a list of the Newcastle-based bands that should be interfering with your new music radar in the coming months.
I dunno about you but I find the idea of ‘three Geordie lads making music out of beans’ quite intriguing. Blesh’s Facebook bio shows they’re a band that don’t take themselves too seriously which is nice and refreshing. As one of the newest additions to Newcastle’s thriving indie scene, the trio arrived mere months ago with a strong debut EP. Parading a care-free brand of grunge pop that borrows the sunny, youthful magnetism of bands like JAWS and Peace. They’ve got bucket-loads of potential and with tracks like ‘Swings and Roundabouts’ and ‘Fruit’ at their disposal are destined for better things. Speaking of JAWS, the band are set to support the rising B-towners on their next Newcastle date at Think Tank. More beans please.
A Festival. A Parade.
Named after a lyric from a track by The National called ‘All The Wine’, A Festival, A Parade don’t shy away from their influences. The four-piece released finely titled debut EP A Piece Of Meat, An Irregular Heartbeat at the beginning of the year to widespread attention from across the blogosphere. A Piece of Meat…played on the melancholic, indie rock tendencies of their namesake, whilst also channeling a host of other noisy and poetic outfits like The Twilight Sad. AFAP are compiled with some of the most talented local musicians from various other projects and when their individual talents collide they become an unstoppable force. Their latest track ‘If Dogs Could Talk’ is genius stuff, spearheaded by whirring, distortion and thoughtful, enigmatic songwriting that will have you hooked in no time.
I can’t be alone in thinking there’s a distinct lack of Euro-wave knocking around at the moment. That’s post-Brexit Britain for you I guess. If like me, are a proud ‘Remoaner’, you may be politically and musically aligned with the sweet electronic sounds of Transfigure. Led by the enigmatic presence of producer Lewis Norvid, the synth-pop trio have released only one single so far, but ‘Fields’ is a promising debut, full glowing synthesisers and ghostly vocals and a healthy dollop of New Order. With the recent announcement of their debut album titled Translation due out via Dutch label Bordello A Parigi (release date tbc), Transfigure look like firm bets to do big things. Having already made acquaintances across the channel, playing to continental crowds, Transfigure could yet be the soundtrack to a second referendum.
The Pale White
Led by the sibling talents of Adam (Guitars/Vocals) and Jack Hope (Drums), The Pale White have the spirit of rock and roll well and truly pulsing through their veins. The trio, that also includes bassist Tom Booth, burst onto the scene at the beginning of the year and gained traction with some thrilling live performances and impressive debut tunes. ‘Second Place’ is a wild, Arctic Monkeys-like standoff of chunky guitar and bass, whilst the hook-laden ‘Let You Down’ is a memorable anthem that has since become a fan favourite. Having already supported the likes of Baby Strange, Sundara Karma and Balenovan, the TPW are certainly on their way to something worth shouting about. An EP is in the works and were recently announced alongside Wild Beasts, Slaves and more to play Live at Leeds 2017. It won’t be long before everyone gets wind of this lot: so get in there early.
High Tide 15:47
After gigging relentlessly and garnering attention from the tastemakers over at NME a while back, High Tide 15:47 disappeared for a little while. But the band returned with the goods this year slicker than ever and releasing some solid new singles like the wonderfully upbeat ‘And The Bubble Burst’. 2016 has been a successful year for the shoegaze sextet and they’ve just toured across the country, with two stops in London, finishing up where they began up in the homely, Northern greyness Geordieland. Most recent release ‘When I’m With You’ is hazy guitar pop at its most atmospheric and show just the type of magic this band are capable of. Keep an ear out.