Stockton Calling 2016

I haven’t written a review in a while as it takes up far too much of my time. As Stockton Calling was so good I thought it needed some recognition so I decided a sentence or two on each band I saw would not stretch me too far. So, here goes….

Fantastic days in sunny Teesside #90. We began and ended the day in the Storytellers. Lovely place just next door to the Arc. First up were DRESSED LIKE WOLVES. Quirky, eclectic, mental, brilliant, love them.

Then to the Arc to see MATTY WILDE. He of Billy the Kid and Young Rebel Set fame. Great voice. Some great new tunes.

Then onto an absolutely rammed Vault to hear JOE RAMSEY. It was so packed we couldn’t actually see him. But it sounded very good indeed.

Then onto the Ku Bar to see TIGERCUB a grungy, Nirvana type bunch from Brighton who had long hair and a cool packet of tunes.

KINGSLEY CHAPMAN AND THE MURDER in the Arc. I didn’t really know what to expect. I never really took to the Chapman Family but as soon as this ensemble walked on stage I got the feeling they were gonna be good. As we’re doing comparisons I would liken them to the Bad Seeds. As Kingsley unveils his new spangly shirt it’s now Morrissey fronting the Bad Seeds. Throw in some Tindersticks and you have a heady mix of death, glamour and cheap red wine. Best surprise of the day.

Then back to the Storytellers. DED RABBITS are a band with their roots in Leeds but moved to Scotland. They do bouncy pop in the mould of Race Horses and the Sultans of Ping. And they’re all Leeds fans. What more could you ask for??

PLASTIC MERMAIDS are neither plastic nor have tails for feet. But they are amazing. Someone described them as Charlotte Church fronting Arcade Fire!!! Throw into that Mercury Rev and Flaming Lips and you’re maybe half way to describing their sound. The gig was packed as news of their brilliance is beginning to spread. Catch them soon before they’re playing arenas.

Final band of the day were the ones I was looking forward to the most; DANCING YEARS. Pure indie pop. Lush lyrics, jangly guitars and serious faces. They all dress like I used to in 1988. This is a compliment not an insult!! They’re from Leeds. Check them out if you can. You’ll love them.

So a great day was had by all. I step out into the rain to get a kebab and a taxi. Stockton has been great again. Teesside is genuinely lucky to have this plus Twisterella and loads of great gigs going on all the time. Get yourself out. See a real band. It’s actually great fun.




By peter on March 28, 2016

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