LIVE REVIEW: A Certain Ratio & Sink Ya Teeth @ Georgian Theatre, Stockton (06/12/19) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Hailing from Norwich, Sink Ya Teeth are Maria Uzor and Gemma Cullingford. Together they make some of the most tremendous music you’re likely to have heard in quite a while, mashing up No-Wave, Post-Punk, Electronica and a 21st attitude into an ecstatic commotion that is as intensely impenitent as it is strutting and mischievous. Opening with Shut Down, and ripping through a selection of tracks from their excellent 2018 debut album, their succinct yet perfectly crafted live-set drips with a swagger and verve that sits very comfortably within a musical lineage beginning with ESG, and encompasses LCD Soundsystem, The Slits and Grace Jones.  It’s (East) angular music for your body and your soul, dripping with a throbbing honesty and a stylish groove deep in the heart that makes Sink Ya Teeth utterly exhilarating. Watch them go.

Playing Stockton for the first time in their celebrated 40 year history, A Certain Ratio mark their arrival with a wall of feedback which gradually shape-shifts into the opening credits of Winter Hill. As Donald Johnson slams down the hypnotic motorik beat, the room starts to oscillate, moving in unison to this most intoxicating of grooves. A Certain Ratio have always been an exceptional live act, but this feels altogether different, electric, as if they’ve managed to find another gear. Pumped up with a new-found confidence following a watershed year that saw them sign to Mute and release a critically acclaimed, and frankly stonking box set, they unequivocally soar.  Jez announces “This set starts at a funeral and ends up at a party” ahead of a superlative four song barrage of Sounds Like Something Dirty, All Night Party, Do the Du and Flight, highlighting just how accomplished and original they were from the very start …Tony Wilson certainly knew a good band when he heard one. Whilst the set is weighted heavily around their eminent sophomore release; The Graveyard and the Ballroom, it flows beautifully, meticulously flitting through deep cuts and crowd pleasers from their entire catalogue. The Fox is concrete jungle Funk, all post-punk noise and horn stabs, Lucinda positively pops and crackles with an insistent energy, the sensational Denise Johnson gliding above the track to deliver a celestial vocal par excellence, and the driving 808 squelch of Dirty Boy turns the Georgian Theatre into FAC51. You can almost smell the Vicks. Much has been written about Houses in Motion, over the past six monthsthe track has certainly taken on a life of its own to become a real set highlight, the intricately layered vocal, guitar and bass parts building to a deliciously dramatic and shuddering crescendo. The most noticeable difference about ACR this evening is just how energised they are, playing with a vim and vigour that is rarely seen in a band of their vintage, they’re clearly loving life at present, and as Martin (Moscrop) launches into the riff that signals a euphoric jaunt through Shack Up, the evening well and truly ends up at the party at the end of the world. After a short break, they return to rapturous applause and wrap up with a phenomenal double whammy of Knife Slits Water and a percussion heavy Si Fermir O Grido that leaves the Stockton crowd well and truly dancing like no-one is watching. With gigs as ridiculously good as this, and a new album due in the autumn, 2020 could be the year that A Certain Ratio finally start to see the massive success they so clearly deserve. 

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