LIVE REVIEW: James Leonard Hewitson @ Think Tank? Underground, Newcastle (28.06.19) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Lauren Sadie Marsden

Billed as a release party for new single Deader, but in reality perhaps a chance to showcase material from upcoming long player Only The Noise Will Save Me, James Leonard Hewitson is an interesting, multi-layered, artist.  Part play it all for laughs of, say, Mike Flower Pots, and part abstractionist, Hewitson’s main strength is his ability to create meaningful songs and then deface them with humour and between track self-mocking; a tactic which works both in its ability to engage his audience, but also in its avoidance of turning the show into a preach-athon.  It’s not a million miles away from a stage presentation in the style of Neil Hannon and his Divine Comedy.

Part 80’s FM rock in places, and part traditional indie, Hewitson’s sound centres around tight guitars and straight indie rock, with the most interesting moments being the unexpected vocals line of say Save Me My Art’s bouncy “ba ba ba ba badadda” chorus or a chilling repeat of “sometimes all I need is somebody” hooks.  Hidden away in the comedy is a serious performer with serious ideas.  I hope we can keep both.

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