Feb 2nd 2019 - Hartlepool Belle Vue….
Check this out…..FIVE and a bit years later someone brings them within range. Well may his bathroom be forever free of tigers as it was a blast of a night. One of those nights where the outcome far exceeds the anticipation.
The 2017 album 11:11 should have been a huge hint of what to expect, but not to rest on their laurels, the lads have a follow-up in the pipeline, tracks from which made up a good half of the evening’s proceedings. From the sound of it, they’ve upped the ante. And just to add a little spice, the first set included a cover of Hendrix’ Red House and the second climaxed with the band’s slightly Countrified Purple Rain. Both excellent covers, but their own material really stands on it’s own, and that material is a pretty potent brew, a mix of British, late 60’s psychedelia and early 70s US West Coast rock. The way Keith Xander’s Fender blends with Mike Gay’s sliding Gibson, pure Eagles… underpinned by Stuart Xander’s acoustic rhythm, pure old school rock… And you can’t take anything away from Joel & Adam Goldberg who tie it all together and drive it along.
Argue how you like about what elements you hear in there, Keith’s vocals at times matching The Beach Boys for range, but these guys have been steeped in all kinds of music, and cleverly combined their favourite bits into a potent cocktail.
I don’t think I’ve seen Belle Vue take to a band so enthusiastically since Ryan McGarvey started swinging by, so I think it was as big a surprise to the band that they were called back for not one but two encores, the 2nd being a string-snapping romp through Arc Angels’ Doing Pretty Good For The Shape I’m In.
A belated start to my gigging year, but a worthwhile one; makes Redcar in October a very tempting prospect… Not sure when it's due out, the band said it's ready to go but no release date as yet, but their 2nd album will be worth watching out for: a good part of the set was culled from it, one track in particular, a slow number the title of which I missed, was heartachingly beautiful.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana...