LIVE REVIEW: Anti-Pleasure All-dayer @ Zerox, Newcastle (17.06.23) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Fiona Liquid by David Hall

The debut Anti-Pleasure all-dayer was a celebration of Newcastle’s queer scene, with a stacked music line-up. It was also accompanied by small business craft stalls from Fluff Jewellery, rrrugrat, Rat Salad and Owen Peareth for the early evening crowd.

Eve Kearton commenced festivities, armed with her trademark bass and a sampler. She fused a juxtaposed sound of funkified bass and electronica/jungle beats that warmed and livened the mind in equal measure. Fiona Liquid & The Clique raised the tempo considerably, delivering a barrage of barbed hooks and anthemic choruses. Brimming with positive energy, this lairy synth-punk ensued the mosh pit was flowing and the crowd was surfing at the wee hour of half five.

Following a burlesque performance from Emma Wiseman, next up was ‘Crayola Goth’ duo BLED. They unloaded a flurry of bubblegum goth-pop, strewn with darkwave undercurrents. Their synth-fuelled energy is akin to the New Romantic artists that they’re vividly reinvigorating, as well as recent glam heroes Walt Disco. After a lip-sync slot from host Whitney Bae, local quintet IRKED were introduced. Rapidly garnering a reputation as one of the loudest bands in the Toon, they blitzed the fervent audience with buzzsaw riffs and guttural bass, embellished by incendiary howls. One of the best new noise merchants on the scene, catch them when you can.

Grandmas House were the most eagerly anticipated act of the day, having been on the radar for some time. The Bristol trio are chock-full of snappy, punchy tunes, punctured with gravelly vocals, scratchy guitar and shattering rhythm. Vocals are also shared from behind the drumkit and completed with jolting bass, Body and titular track Who Am I from the new EP were real highlights. Propulsive, raw and brilliant, let’s hope they return soon. Headliners ĠENN were excellent on their last two visits to Newcastle and somehow sounded even sharper this time. To the backdrop of a sumptuous psychedelic palette, towering vocals, big riffs and a thumping rhythm section surged through the venue. Having announced their debut album earlier in the week, the Anglo-Maltese quartet always promise a high-octane performance and this was no different. There’s nods to 90s grunge, punk and art pop but they’ve reimagined these ingredients into their own sleek aperitif. An adrenaline rush to conclude the day from one of the most vibrant live bands in the country. 

The brainchild of local promoter and DJ Alannah Lamb, this was a superbly curated day fest that showcased some of the most forward-thinking and creative queer artists, in the region and beyond. Long live Anti-Pleasure!

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