LIVE REVIEW: Martha Hill, Talk Like Tigers, Zak Younger Banks @ Sage Gateshead (22.03.19) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Martha Hill by Thomas Jackson

I’ve only ever managed to catch Martha Hill at various acoustic sets and busking around Newcastle city centre but that alone has been enough for me to call myself a fan. As soon as I heard she’d be playing at Sage Gateshead I was both impressed and excited, the calibre of artists who play here is always high and I was wondering how Martha would compare.

Supported by Zak Younger Banks, an indie-folk artist with powerful, bleak songwriting to pull on the heartstrings and command attention, and Talk Like Tigers, a North East dynamic twin duo with velvety harmonies and soaring beats, the night kicked off to a strong start.

Armed with pyrotechnics including a canny smoke machine, Martha sauntered onto the stage accompanied by her band and was greeted with whoops of delight. Her silky vocals soon started flow, bursting with Kate Nash similarities and exploding into colourful arrays of pop, jazz and delicate acoustic breaks peppered across her setlist.

Catchy lyrics, soaring synths and soothing cello notes courtesy of Ceitidh Mac, it was a captivating performance from start to end. The dramatic Reborn provided an almost Amy Winehouse vibe, alt. pop hit Spiders had everyone singing along and tracks such as Holiday and Girls provided an exciting glimpse into what we can’t yet hear from Martha on Spotify.

A cracking performance and an artist that I recommend everyone makes an effort to go and see.

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