LIVE REVIEW: Cattle and Cane, Benjamin Amos @ The Globe, Stockton (18.12.21) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Tracy Hyman

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a Cattle and Cane gig. So, after a two year wait, the annual tradition was back at the newly renovated Globe, on the stage once trod by The Beatles, Buddy Holly and The Rolling Stones.

Benjamin Amos opened the evening with a mixture of solo songs alongside his arrangements of Christmas classics. Armed with acoustic guitar, Ben, also of local band Nel Unlit, serenaded the theatre with versions of the Holly and the Ivy and O Little Town of Bethlehem. Prior to the dedication of a Silent Night, we heard amusing anecdotes about working as a teacher in a primary school and an unfortunate incident with a green screen, leading to the floating heads of digitally decapitated children. A wonderfully Christmassy opening performance.

This was a big night for Stockton and the acclaimed sibling-fronted band, playing a headline show in the Art Deco surrounds of The Globe. The venue’s long-awaited opening in September has already brought high profile bands like Nick Cave and McFly to the town, but this is the night where the heart of Teesside came home. Cattle and Cane mixed and matched songs from their three albums alongside popular Christmas tunes; some performed by the entire band with others stripped back, with a spotlight on Joe and Helen. The green and yellow ornate surrounds of the stage, fairy lights wrapped around microphone stands and drumkits, alongside the stage lighting, made the night feel special. They thanked the audience for their commitment; after all, this was also the night of the Strictly Come Dancing final.

Highlights of the night came from fan favourites Poacher, Tonight We Dance (Cleveland Hills) and the popular Teesside Anthem Infant Hercules. This much-loved “attempt to capture the spirit of Teesside” received loud cheers from the opening chords. Then a dip into a cover of Chris Rea’s Driving Home for Christmas, followed by the festive refrains of I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.

A yellow haze of light and the melodies of Golden fill the room, harmonies blending together seamlessly into a gentle, soothing pop sound. Dancing closes the night in the encore section of the show, replete with falling confetti and proving a grand finale to a special night.

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