Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Live Review: Generator Sessions, Mining Institute, Newcastle (14/12/2013)

WITH a stellar lineup, a sell-out crowd and classy setting at Newcastle's Mining Institute, Saturday night threw up a real Christmas treat for North-East music fans. Organised by local agency Generator, this special gig provided intimate, collaborative performances from four of the region’s finest songwriters, following a spate of video sessions recorded last month (see below).

Tessera Skies kick-started the evening’s proceedings, and their luscious piano-led post-rock soundscapes were perfectly set in such a grand hall. Their short appearance preceded that of Trev Gibb, now operating exclusively solo having dissolved his group Deerhart earlier in the year. His lyrics are certainly endearing, but the main pull comes through his rich, almost velvety delivery; the type which could enhance any song, never mind one as good as "Can’t Stop Thinking of You." Topping the bill was Martin Longstaff of The Lake Poets, who began alone before fleshing-out with his backing band. Their set housed plenty of familiar cuts, but was most notable for the addition of fresh material, including tales of his father’s work in Seaham’s mines and an impassioned ode to his deceased grandmother.

Shining in their own, unique ways, each showing was thoroughly excellent in its own right, but for me the best was that of penultimate artist Fran O’Hanlon, aka Ajimal. Stunning from the off, the likes of "Footnote to Love (Part One)" and "This Human Joy" sounded more stirring and ethereal than ever - a positive sign ahead of Childhood, his debut concept album which should finally appear in the coming year. Granted, he forgot the words and eventually had to abandon his planned closer, but it would have taken far more to blight a performance, and indeed show, which found all involved in truly tremendous form.


You can watch the Generator Sessions recorded by each artist, along with one from Lanterns on the Lake, here.

The Lake Poets


Trev Gibb

Tessera Skies

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