LIVE REVIEW: Cattle & Cane and the Northern Orchestra, Alistair Griffin @ Middlesbrough Town Hall (08.06.18) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Image by Lauren Close

Cattle & Cane’s Joe Hammill played out the opening refrain to Sold My Soul, the Northern Orchestra flooded in behind and together they delivered one of those genuine wow moments. You could feel it like electricity flickering right around the audience crowded into the sold out Town Hall. A building that has just been restored to its Victorian splendour and revamped for a bright new future by a multi-million pound Lottery funded project.

Through that long restoration the excitement and anticipation grew towards this performance. Wearing their civic pride on their sleeves, local heroes Cattle & Cane would finally take to the biggest stage in Teesside in the company of the sumptuous strings and horns of the Northern Orchestra. What a night.

Castleton’s own Alistair Griffin, he of Fame Academy, set the ball rolling. Alistair’s song about the Grangetown of his grandparents was a very moving homage to the former industrial community. 

Cattle & Cane played songs from both their albums, Home and Mirrors, augmented by orchestra and grand piano. Vocals switched between Joe and Helen Hammil, with Joe also moving between guitar and grand piano where he slowed down the pulse of pop single Seven Hours to a caressing croon. The power, poise and subtlety of the band and orchestra together was moving, inspirational and uplifting. Folk and pop fused with the multi-instrumentation into a far bigger whole.

Songs written after ‘Boro relegation and even more devastatingly, the closure of the steel works, left a lump in the throat. Cleveland Hills spoke of the joy and freedom of the green lands that circle to the south, the orchestral arrangement provided an extra glow to the musical pictures painted.

A confetti finale brought the house down before we were sent on our way to a rousing rendition of encore Come Home. On Friday night Cattle & Cane truly felt like the heart of Teesside. So special.



Like this story? Share it!

Subscribe to our mailout