The Lake Poets, The Union Choir & Natasha Haws At The Sage In Gateshead On Thursday 5th April 2012

Gig of the year? Single of the year? Can these things be decided upon so early in the year? Probably not but we have some contenders already. Last night we visited the Sage in Gateshead for the launch of the Lake Poets debut single. Now normally the launch of a local bands single would be done in the back of a pub with 20 or 30 friends and family. The fact this was done in a building as impresssive as the Sage with a sell out crowd of 500 people tells you all you need to know. This was only my second visit to the Sage which is a shame as it is a fabulous place. Hopefully that is changing as it opens its doors to more gigs like this. It is a fabulous venue. The acoustics are second to none. It could easily be one of the best venues in the area. Anyway on to the events of the night……..

Again, another brand new name on the circuit. Never heard of her before. Again, she is superb. Yes, Lana Del Rey, Laura Marling, Ellie Goulding, Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Bjork……. Any female with a guitar and a voice. But that is lazy and patronising. She is only 17, we think. She has a presence and a way with a tune that makes us think she will go on to greater things. My favourite all time female singer is Kristen Hersh and again I see bits of Natasha in her but again I am being lazy and trying to pigeonhole an artist before they have even started. Natasha Haws is brilliant. Songs about her little brother actually brought a tear to the eye. She has some great songs and releases her debut EP in May with a gig at Sunderland Minster. You could do worse than make it along. (Saturday 12th may at the Minster in Sunderland)
Here she is singing “Stepping Stone”

My second helping of this ensemble. Like the Tindersticks fronted by David Thomas. They make a great noise. Lloyd Cole & The Commotions in Rattlesnake days or The Walkmen these boys and girls are building a sound and a reputation that will take them well beyond the borders of South Shields. Two singles in, both aired tonight and an album coming up they are a band on the rise. Here is them doing their last single “Your Melodica”


(1) Rapture
(2) Your Melodica
(3) Eleanor
(4) Capital
(5) Snow Fell
(6) Poteukin (Battleship?)
(7) Lavender

Did we tell you we love The Lake Poets? Well, we love the Lake Poets. Ever since we stumbled upon Martin in the Head of Steam a good 18 months ago we have loved him and his songs. A friend of mine thanked me for putting the video of City by the Sea on my Facebook page. She said they reminded her of Lindisfarne!!! Lindisfarne!!!! I thought at first. But you know what. She has a point. I think we forget how good Lindisfarne were. They were not all Fog on the Tyne, they were actually a really great band. One day we might see the Lake Poets playing Christmas shows at the City Hall. And tonights performance was a bit like that. Family and Friends supporting their new hero. But, but, he deserves all their accolades. Martin Longstaff is a genius. He has so many great songs already it is frightening. I have compared him before to Roddy Frame and Martin Stephenson and both these still hold true. Add to that a bit of Bob Dylan and, dare I say it, Bruce Springsteen. Martin is currently training to be a teacher and he uses his experiences to write his songs. I used to have a teacher who taught by day and sang by night. I wonder whatever happened to Mr Sumner??? I hope Martin becomes as big a star but I hope he never loses his humility. He introduces songs about love and loss and how he loves his grand parents and how he wishes he could do more to help the pupils he serves. This could be seen as trite or twee but it does not. It just seems honest and endearing. Have I said I love him? As well as the single release he is promoting he sings a number of songs that grab our heart strings and make us think about something more in life than ourselves. He is a genuinely lovely lad who deserves to be heard by the masses but I hope will not be spoilt by the masses. I doubt anything could spoil him.
Here are “Small Town” and “City by the Sea” and a bit of banter….


(1) Rain
(2) Friends
(3) Bluebell
(4) Windowsill
(5) 1996
(6) Lost Boy
(7) Short term, Long Term (This aint Vegas Cover)
(8) Edinburgh


(9) April
(10) North View
(11) Dead Tree
(12) Dead Horses???
(13) Untitled
(14) Small Town
(15) City by the Sea


(16) Shipyards

A big thank-you to all the bands, The Sage for putting on the event so well and especially Paul Brown at Tiny Lights. The new Alan McGee!!!!







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By peter on April 9, 2012

Check out all the pics

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