LIVE REVIEW: sir Was, Grey Tapes @ The Cluny 2, Newcastle (23.11.19) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: sir Was

On a day when the sun barely rose, the warm and softly lit belly of The Cluny 2 was always going to be a welcoming place. The shuffle of drums and the soothing thump of double bass drifting up the stairs could only be Newcastle’s own Grey Tapes. In truth, there could scarcely be a better opener for sir Was; both equally blissed-out, genre hopping and refreshingly self-effacing.

Wastberg is endearingly awkward. Whist it’s plainly obvious from his records that he is an incredibly talented musician, on stage he exudes an almost childlike quality; as though he finds himself with a guitar in his hands for the first time. As is so often the case with those raised on jazz (Wastberg began life as a jazz saxophonist in a Swedish village) the notes he doesn’t play are by far the loudest.

The set clocked in at just under an hour but still included every one of sir Was’ singles, with nothing short of wall to wall grooves and the cadence brought up and down like being rocked on a gentle breeze. And, after climbing the winding staircase back into another damp November night, you know you’d do well to see Wastberg in such perfectly intimate surroundings again.


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