LIVE REVIEW: Hivemind, Motherland, Plastic Thieves @ Head of Steam, Newcastle (23.11.18) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Sunderland four-piece Hivemind returned to the live music scene with their first show since April, and indeed their first show since the release of their self-titled debut album. A couple things have changed since they were last on stage, but with a line-up change and even newer new music under their belt, things were shaping up to make a great show.

Plastic Thieves had the less than enviable task of opening up the show, but they did an unexpectedly fantastic job. My first thought was “like Muse, but more metal.” As if they’d read my mind, they immediately segued into a cover of Plug In Baby, followed by a much heavier rendition of Lorde’s Royals. Excellent guitar work and a rich sound coming from only three members on stage led me to seek out their social media right away: I don’t want to miss anything this trio get up to.

The next band was nearly the polar opposite; Head of Steam’s little basement stage was crammed by Motherland’s presence. Three guitarists playing at once does sound a bit like overkill, but at least it gave all the performers a chance to have a break. Their general alt rock vibes were pleasant enough, and they did well considering I believe this show was one of their first for this band.

Switching out vocalists can be a bit of a daunting task for any music group, not least one who departed with their previous singer so soon after the release of their debut album. There may well have been a hint of tension surrounding new face Georgia McRae. Thankfully, that dissipated as soon as they were through with opening track Riot Envy: new life was into Hivemind’s old song with her personal vocal style, and really settled into this track as if it were a brand new single. Actual brand new single We’re Just Friends mixes up their usual extravagant riffs and earthy bass lines with Georgia’s raw pop-rock vocals. And having such a long break between live shows meant the crowd that gathered for Hivemind were ready and raring to go. I’m glad to see they’re not leaving it quite so long until their next show this time, they’re next playing Pop Recs Ltd in Sunderland on Friday 14th December.


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