Heartrock Live – Newcastle 02 Academy – 8-may-10

Back in ‘07, HeartRock started out with the intention of being a music label. However since ‘08 they’ve been regularly putting on local bands in Newcastle’s, Head of Steam, Dog and Parrot and HOKO 10. During this time they’ve gradually transformed into a full time promotions company. Since Jan ‘09, they’ve also been promoting monthly showcase nights at the 02 Academy, under the banner “HeartRock Live”, giving the same local bands they worked with in their smaller pub venues, the chance to, “up their game,” and play to audiences averaging 250-370 people at the Academy. Commendable stuff, and here at TNL, we’re reet behind that sort of attitude.

Jack at HeartRock told us, “We try to keep the nights as diverse as possible, I likethe idea that if a band are good then people will get into, and support them even if it’s not the kind of music they would usually listen to.”

…and that was kind of what we experienced on Saturday night. There were 5 very different bands on, and most had brought along a little posse of support. Nowhere near the 250-370, that would have really kicked the night into action mind you, but never the less, the little buggers played their hearts out.

First up were Paparazzi Strike, a tidy little 4 piece, playing a very enjoyable set from the ever-popular, mournful end of the indie spectrum, but with some blistering guitars that wouldn’t have done a disservice to the Wedding Present. Next up, Fallen Phoenix. Now… I’m not really sure WTF was going on here, they’ve certainly got the rock-posturing off to a tee, a combination of west coast american punk-metal, (but without the american accents, baggy shorts or tattoos, seriously guys… you need some tats.) They even offered a guitar to the crowd to strum a few chords at one point… unfortunately there was only 3 people there at the time? Could certainly play though… and obviously just love, being rock gods in a band. Speaking of rock gods, next up were Lose Your Addiction, who at least brought a sizeable crowd with them intent on enjoying themselves. Very entertaining, a definite RATM vibe, not sure they all needed to strip off mind, specially the little one in the middle, (I just bet he’s off school this week, with a sore throat.) Full respect to Andy for resisting the urge.

Next up, This Is Theft, already a Northern Line favourite and pretty much the reason we turned up tonight, to catch their last live show for several months. A very self effacing act, (well compared to the last 2 anyway!) but they’ve definitely got something very different going on here. Nobody stripped off, and there were no pre-rehearsed Status Quo, guitar strolls around the stage. In fact they pretty much just took to the stage and played a cracking, spiky set of laidback tunes. Highlights for me were opener, The Menace of the Storm and the closer, Awake to Sleep. We just hope they just keep on doing what they do, turning out these cracking tunes. Looking forward to their return in September.

Last up, like the 6th formers at a school concert were, Demob Happy, very slick, very accomplished and… very hairy!!… described to me as “proper good”… they played a polished set of Clapton-esque old-school, Bluesy Rock’n’Roll. An interesting night, good effort by HeartRock, shame some of the bands and their “fans” left without seeing (and supporting) the full eclectic line up. Definitely worth it to see Pap. Strike and TiT….hmm… did I just say that? … Pap Strike and Tit, sounds like one of those bizarre Eastern European cartoons I watched as a kid.







By Dave on May 13, 2010

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