LIVE REVIEW: Paddy Steer, Grey Tapes, Me Lost Me (I Lost My) @ Mining Institute, Newcastle (26.01.18) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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It’s almost a year to the day since Jayne Dent unveiled a demo EP comprised of disparate drones and loops – a snapshot of raw experiments for a new project she coined Me Lost Me (I Lost My). Fast forward 12 months, and tonight’s opening set is perhaps the most striking demonstration yet of how those ideas have blossomed. Certainly, her off-kilter folk sounds and exalted vocal talents seem custom made for venues such as the Mining Institute; scaling whole new levels of magnificence amid the library’s vast ceiling and stained-glass windows. Grey Tapes are another beneficiary, whose alluring electronica is all the more fulfilling for its wholesome live presentation. Whoever’s handling the playlist clearly isn’t feeling it – they try to cut the quartet off two songs early! – but theirs is a lone voice in an ecstatic packed-out room.

With dry ice, a handsome mirror ball and a clutch of ludicrous homemade costumes in tow, Paddy Steer’s performance was never likely to want for surrealism. Beyond the base silliness, however, the Mancunian sports some serious cosmic chops, driven by his kinetic percussion and littered with bustling bloops and squelching splurges of bass. Shaking up a low-key start, a tactical influx of balloons cranks proceedings up several notches, and before long this grand old hall has submitted to full party mode; bouncing away to an irresistible and effervescent succession of jazz-inflected disco grooves. Eventually even my resting bored face succumbs, breaking into a beaming and spontaneous grin. A remarkable feat indeed!

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