Red River Dialect / The Cluny, Newcastle | 26th of January

Red River Dialect / The Cluny, Newcastle | 26th of January

I travelled to The Cluny in Newcastle with the intention of seeing Canadian folk band, The Weather Station perform their brand of experimental music for the crowd. Unfortunately, singer Tamara Lindeman was struck by a bout of cold that caused her to lose her voice, and despite sound checking, had to pull out of the gig at 7 o’clock. We all wish her a speedy recovery as their tour marches on, but in true Geordie style, the show went on with the two support acts from the evening stepping up the bill to ensure the evening was still a success.

First up was Idle Hands, a local band playing their very first gig as this group, but if you thought they’d be nervous, you’d have to think again. There were a few jitters with the hardware, but the frontman had all the charisma to laugh it off and keep the audience on side while the bassist fixed her amp, and the drummer fixed his backing track. Once they got going though, they were unstoppable. A sparkling array of original songs from this band and the band two of them were in before called Canyons, that mixed upbeat and poppy sounding folk with some terribly macabre lyrics that touched on themes of love, loss and family. They are releasing their first single on the 12th of March, which will include a violin player that wasn’t playing due to a holiday, but can only enhance what is already a very unique sound for the band.

Following on was Red River Dialect, a Cornish based band from all over the South and Midlands. These guys were quite the ensemble, with two guitars, a bass, keys, drums and a violin player amongst their ranks, giving credence to their atmospheric, dreamy anthems. Singer, David Morris, then combined this with his powerful voice and he certainly knew how to throw his weight around, scaling sonic heights, and also being able to tone down to almost a state of whisper to drive home the emotion of the songs. A very technically gifted band, which really shone through in some of their more experimental songs, such as playing using a prototype electric violin during one track. But what really impressed me about these guys was one particular moment during their set, I cracked my knuckle and it sounded louder than they were, but despite that, I still felt encapsulated in their sound, which is testament to their presence on stage.

So it was a night of two halves, one band playing their first gig, another who’ve been on the road since 2010, both excelling in their own right. Was I disappointed The Weather Station didn’t play? Yes, I mean you must have clout to make coming all the way from Canada to play for 100 people worthwhile. Was I disappointed in the evening? No, not at all, the two bands were on form and not even technical hitches could spoil it. Red River Dialect have a new album out on the 3rd of February, and if last night is anything to go by, I suggest you give their folk rock noises a listen.

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