A cool line up at The Boiler Shop
Music fan, reviewer and Bunker Apprentice James Brydon went along to this weekend’s BBC 6Music Festival on Tyneside to see what all the fuss was about.
A freezing cold venue, an empty wallet and the saltiest chips on earth, these were the only downsides of BBC’s 6 Music Festival, now in it’s second year and it’s first time on Tyneside. Thankfully the positives of my afternoon in Newcastles Boiler Shop far outweighed the negatives. Surrounded by a good selection of local record shop stalls (Pop Recs, Reflex, JG Windows and On Tap Vinyl) and Specialist food stalls, there was even a combination of the two with the aptly named Pie and Vinyl. I arrived around 1ish just in time to catch the new big name coming out of Sunderland, Hyde and Beast who were fronted by a familiar face in the form of ex Futureheads drummer Dave Hyde. And while Hyde and Beast may sport that well known north eastern indie charm of the Futureheads they are a far cry from the fast paced anthems put out by Hydes former band mates. Instead Hyde and Beast deliver a more stripped back performance featuring catchy blues guitar riffs mixed with soft vocals. Keep Moving, the title track of their latest album, being the standout song in a set that captured the audiences attention and never let it go.
After Hyde and Beast attention was quickly turned to the smaller stage where Radio 6 DJ, Stuart McConie was about to deliver a talk on the popular music sub-culture and genre Northern Soul, in which he was joined by a panel of experts. This was just a number of interesting and informative talks held by the 6 Music DJ’s which also included Steve Lamacq talking to Supergrass’ Gaz Coombes who held an insightful talk on the changing face of the music industry over the past 20 years and his experiences in relation to that. By now the cold was almost arctic like in temperature but I decided to brave it out to see the intriguingly named ‘Beardy Man attempts to make an album in an hour’ and I’m glad I did, despite Beardy Man not actually having the massive beard I was expecting. Beardy Man is actually the pseudonym of musician/comedian Darren Foreman who impressively managed to make a full album on the spot based only on song names suggested to him over twitter, despite having to reboot all his equipment whilst beatboxing.
The biggest act to play 6 Musics Introducing stage that day however were North London rock band Wolf Alice who are quickly becoming one of the UK’s most talked about new bands. I was eager to hear Wolf Alice again after being impressed by their performance supporting Swim Deep a couple of years ago, a gig in which i thought they greatly outshone the headliners. Despite being swamped by technical problems upon taking the stage which delayed the performance and perhaps lowered the buzz around the venue a little, Wolf Alice still managed to deliver a blinding set and one which certainly lived up to there fast growing reputation as one of the country’s most exciting new rock bands. Their mix of powerful grunge anthems combined with elements of folk and brit pop were well received by the audience who had decided to stay and brave the cold. I unfortunately had to leave early after Wolf Alice so missed out on the other BBC introducing acts but something I did take from this event is that there are exciting and diverse times ahead for new music, especially in the North East.
Visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/e8qbj5 for video footage, interviews and more from the weekend’s series of music events.