LIVE REVIEW: This is Tomorrow – Saturday @ Exhibition Park, Newcastle (25.05.19) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Noel Gallagher (c) Sour Mash Recordings

20 years after their commercial peak it’s still easy to pick out the cultural impact of the Gallagher brothers. Today’s crowd proves that in spades; Beatle haircuts, bucket hats, swaggering walks, shades on even though it’s overcast…there’s been no pop culture phenomenon in the past 25 years that meets Oasis circa 1995. In outfits alone, today is truly indie 101. 

Building as the day progresses, and with a spirit possibly damped by the rain, early sets by Inhaler and Echolines do much to inject energy into the festivities with their edgy, guitar based, rock. Echolines, in particular, deserve credit for being potentially the most excited act to play at the festival all weekend. 

Hitting the headliners time slots The Editors draw a big crowd to the main stage looking for a fix of gloom rock but are shortly upstaged on the Richard Hamilton stage with a quick one-two by standouts WhenYoung and then Pip Blom who both bring really interesting, adventurous, new wave to those switched on enough to be braving the rain. Both looking to explore the lighter sides of bouncy guitar music, and with clarity about their aesthetics, WhenYoung and Pip Blom are both worth keeping an eye on and were a welcome addition to a line-up that, let’s be honest, at least on the main stage, played it fairly safe.

Another welcome addition, and a fellow risk taker, Charlotte OC, closed the BBC Introducing stage with her interesting blend of minimal piano and electronic effects, including standout Hey Lover, which found ample space to showcase her rich, emotive, voice and ability to create raw, cutting, narratives.

Main support act, and band with nine lives, The Vaccines, provide spirited upbeat indie across on the main stage including standout ‘If you wanna’ in a fine warm up to ultimate headliner, Noel Gallagher, who carries on from last year’s show at Newcastle Arena with jibes at the crowd mixed with old classics. Going down well with easily the largest crowd of the weekend, and promising to return next year, Gallagher does exactly what he’s meant to. He also makes it easy for some of those thinking about returning next year but don’t like making wardrobe decisions.

A safe, but successful, day.

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