Mitchell Museum @ The Head Of Steam, Newcastle 29/10/10



“I’m one hundred and four degrees with a Head Full of Steam”. (Head Full of Steam. The Go-betweens 1986)

A triple bill of brilliance. Glasgows Mitchell Museum, The Winterhill Transmission from Newcastle and The Lake Poets from Sunderland.  All wrapped up in a great little venue in Newcastle called the Head of Steam. Hence the Go-Betweens lyric. Which works on two levels. Obviously the name of the venue but also in The Winterhill Transmission who remind me of Sydney’s finest. Especially Ben Holland, lead singer, who has the boyish charm of a young Robert Forster. The venue is situated directly opposite the railway station in Newcastle. Great for catching the last train. A bar upstairs with loads of great ales and a neat little venue down stairs. The only pity is that more people didn’t seem to be able to locate it!! 3 great bands and an audience of not more than 20 or so. A real shame for the bands but also for those who missed out on a great nights entertainment.

THE LAKE POETS: I assume neither live in a lake or could be called poets. As there is only one person the lake poet might suffice. He is one Martin Longstaff and he hails from Sunderland. He reminded me of a young Roddy Frame and for some reason Kelly Jones. Maybe it is his diminutive figure, or his black leather jacket or his surprisingly big voice. I am sat listening to the 3 track CD he gave away on the night (full review to follow) and with every play it gets better. He played all 3 live tonight and a handful more. Windowsill is a superb track. Martin Stephenson also springs to mind. He doesn’t have the confident banter of Martin but I think that will come as he gets a bigger audience and he realises that his tunes are actually very good.

THE WINTERHILL TRANSMISSION: These boys are fast becoming one of my favourite bands. I had been going on about them to Dave (from The Northern Line) for sometime and he was, thankfully, as impressed with them as I was the first time I saw them. After 3 gigs and having been listening to their demo non stop I love them even more. Hopefully we will be covering them at the launch of their debut single at the Cluny 2 on Friday the 19th of November. The full set for tonight;

April Snow

How could we ever know

Let the signal find you



“The old” annals

If I ever see you again

The final track is going to be the debut single and a belter it is too. We already have April Snow on The Northern Lines radio station (give it a listen now, you wont be disappointed!) But all 7 tracks could be singles. Let the signal find you and Matador are relatively new to me but both stand out tonight. I watched them sound check and it was a proper hairs on the back of the neck moment. When they finish with If I ever see you again the audience look at each other in the knowledge that they have just seen more than a local band playing a support. They have seen stars. Soon to shine.

MITCHELL MUSEUM: Firstly a confession. I only saw 3 songs as I had to get the last train home. 10 O’Clock for the last train home on a Friday is a joke but I don’t make the time-tables!!! Anyway I did see their sound check and what with that, the 3 songs I did see and the fact Dave watched the whole set means I can say with some confidence that Mitchell Museum are a fine band. They hail from sunny Glasgow and have a fabulous debut album out called The Peters Port Memorial Service. Their latest single Tiger Heartbeat has been getting a lot of air play and deservedly so. They have been compared with Flaming Lips, Animal Collective, Modest Mouse, Mercury Rev and Panda Bear. Great company to keep and they deserve all the accolades. Their sound is dense with stuff going on all over the place. But like Flaming Lips it all makes sense as the hooks and melodies guide you through the song to the golden pots at the end of their techni-coloured rainbows. Bleeps and Warning bells a plenty. Go seek them out you wont be disappointed.

And then I was on the train home. Newcastle to Middlesbrough on the last train home on a Friday is hardly inspiring. But I had the warm glow of having seen three great bands and the fact that I’d been in the pub since two in the afternoon! Only a few hours till my 44th birthday but I felt 16 again. Is it only me and Pete Shelley who know how that feels?……….







AND SOME MORE PHOTOS AT OUR FACEBOOK PAGE……….!/album.php?aid=245770&id=153421781639

By peter on November 7, 2010

Check out all the pics

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