Jordan Allen / Think Tank, Newcastle | 6th of December

Jordan Allen / Think Tank, Newcastle | 6th of December

Jordan Allen didn’t just turn up to Think Tank in Newcastle on the 6th of December, he brought with him a show that I’ll remember for a very long time. Together with support from Fosseway, Real Life Entertainment, and SHEAFS, I spent the night being nothing but mesmerised.

So the night kicked off with Fosseway, a local band who brought with them some energetic indie tracks. The thing I liked about these lads, was that every original track felt like I’d heard it before, and not in a bad way. I found myself being able to sing along to them after the first chorus, and it was comforting. In these days of heavy experimentation, it’s good to know that some bands are still thinking inside the box, and making the type of music that everyone likes.

Next on was Real Life Entertainment, a band all the way from Perth in Scotland. Now these lads have something. They’re a five piece who play with elements of psychedelic rock, and take Hendrix inspired guitar riffs, blended with a unique vocal. Their front man, Ricky, acts almost like Bez from the Happy Mondays in his stage presence, which is equally as mad and brilliant as his voice is. I could go on about their sound and performance, but Ricky himself summed it up perfectly when I spoke to him after the set, saying “If our genre was a person, the indie kids would be shining its shoes, while the moshers were sucking its dick.” Nuff said.

Sheffield band SHEAFS were simply amazing. Their singer strutted onto stage with his overcoat and long hair, chugging a bottle of buckfast, but it wasn’t long before he was down on the main floor, singing and dancing with the audience. He may be one of the coolest singers in the world. He just seemed so comfortable down there, and it showed as he made everyone feel part of the performance, trusting his band to play faultlessly. They were heavy and hard hitting when they needed to be, then political, but not in your face about it. Their big piece was lifting an audience member up with a sign saying This Is Not A Protest, their latest single, and it was fun while also getting across their message, not an easy thing to do, but they were effortless all set, the hallmark of good musicians.

If SHEAFS were last nights headline I would not have been disappointed, however, when Jordan Allen jumped on the stage, they kicked the show up a notch I didn’t know existed. Named after their frontman, those lads from Bolton played track after track of lyrical bliss. Allen writes all the bands material, and some of the lines he comes up with are exceptional, like “Roxy said, that Love was the drug, but it never seemed that way. But since I’ve had a line, of cupids gear, all the ladies sayfrom Helter Skelter that really demonstrates his ability to dig deep emotions into fun sounding songs. Their songs are guitar driven tracks that take inspiration from indie, punk, pop, rock, and everything in between, and they blend their setlist to create a great mood throughout. Going from an emotionally charged track like 110 Ways To Make Things Better, to the bouncy Too Much Too Soon, and then the very melancholy White Lines, keeping everyone entertained with chat throughout, and jokes between the bandmates. The set ended in the perfect way, their latest single R.O.S.I.E. a major crowd pleaser, and compulsive listening, was played, as they invited all the bands from the night back on stage to dance, and then were joined by the rest of the crowd, who moshed and danced and sang along, in an experience nobody wanted to end.

The main thing that struck me from the gig, was who everyone was. They were all just lads, having the time of their lives, who just wanted to play music for people, and they were all excellent. Nobody was there for fame, or money, they just wanted people to give them a shot, whether it was SHEAFS singer going round handing cards with their social links on, or Jordan Allen saying they hoped to return to Newcastle when that was their full time job. What I saw was a bunch of extremely ambitious bands, who translated their passion onto the audience, and left a lasting impression. The music was amazing, and there’s no reason they shouldn’t all make it, they just need our support.

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