LIVE REVIEW: BLACK COUNTRY, NEW ROAD @ Gosforth Civic Theatre, Newcastle (21.06.21) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Image by Rhiannon Banks

Saxophonist Lewis Evans steps onto Gosforth Civic Theatre stage and asks if it’s ok if the band play some new songs. So starved have the audience been for any live music, he would have undoubtedly been greeted with rapturous applause if he’d asked if the band could just sit in silence and lead a prayer meeting. It’s the last words anybody will speak on stage for the rest of the night.

Evans soon returns with the rest of Black Country, New Road in tow and a flute in his mouth, as they open with an instrumental track, each of the six band members gradually feeling their way into the set in what can best be described as free-form jazz. As experimental as it often is, there is a structure to Black Country, New Road’s music and newer tracks do seem to be less improvised and, dare it be said, even poppy.

With tracks yet to be titled – though helpfully named after band members exclusively for this reviewer – Charlie and Luke go down a storm with the crowd and nicely sandwich Science Fair from the band’s debut long-player, For The First Time. We’re treated to the full ten minutes of the post-punk post-rock jazz cross-over of Sunglasses, as epic as it is brutally captivating. There are times during a Black Country, New Road set when you wonder just what it is you’re watching and listening to, and then there are many more moments of pure, untamed, brilliance. When they’re on fire and firing on all cylinders, they could very well burn the house down.

Tyler Hyde on bass, occasionally seated, occasionally stood and a picture of cool in football shorts and knee socks, eyes frontman Isaac Wood’s guitar like a hawk, following his every chord change as we hang on his poetry like believers hang on every word of their saviour. Gosforth Civic Theatre is his church tonight and the rapture builds with every track until all band members shuffle off the stage to sprawling feedback before returning for a surprising, but no less entertaining, straight ahead stab at Abba’s Mamma Mia! Like much of Black Country, New Road’s music, it makes little sense and it shouldn’t work, but it does and it’s utterly magnificent. It’s sure to be just as captivating when the band return to Newcastle University Student’s Union on Tuesday 7th December, so if you missed out this time you’ve got another chance to see this superb band in action.

Like this story? Share it!

Subscribe to our mailout