LIVE REVIEW: Cultdreams, Mouses, Girl From Winter Jargon @ Westgarth Social Club, Middlesbrough (23.09.19) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Andy Lochrie

To say tonight was a triumph may be a bit impulsive on my part, but on Bi Visibility Day filling the back room of a working men’s club on a Monday night with loads of likeminded people, sad radge punk, feminist merch and a unisex toilet is definitely a triumph of organisation and intent. For me, flicking through the latest edition of Ladyfuzz zine at the bar and enjoying seeing a gaggle of teenagers bouncing around to main support Mouses (running through a mix of old songs and new; Huckleberry and Nostalgia sounding awesome btw) was a nostalgia trip of its own, as I wistfully remembered heading back into school or college the day after a midweek gig.

Durham’s Girl From Winter Jargon had opened things up with a wildly inventive three-song set using nothing but her guitar, voice, loop pedal and an assortment of subtle effects to create a derelict and desolate musical landscape one painstakingly crafted note at a time, and proving less can really be something much more.

But it’s Brighton duo Cultdreams that tonight’s promoters have worked tirelessly to bring to Middlesbrough, and as they rip through tracks such as I Don’t Want To Be Sad Forever and a raucous Repent, Regress it was always going to go down a storm in Middlesbrough’s best sounding and well-lit small venue. Poignant and thoughtful themes run throughout the band’s lyrics but tonight these angst-ridden and heavier tracks feel more appropriate to the general mood. Between song banter is spat with venom at times about safe spaces and inclusivity but with an underlying gratitude to those that came out on a Monday night. As they end with a riveting and apt Not My Generation one of the group of teenagers who had started the evening nodding along shyly at the back is down near the front with the rest of his friends. A night to remember.



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