LIVE REVIEW: Spielbergs, Palm Beach, Old Haunts @ Think Tank Underground, Newcastle (18.09.19) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Blyth’s Old Haunts tread a fine line between the emo rock of Jimmy Eat World on tunes like Wreckage and Green Day on the punky Too Far Gone, the latter coming as no surprise with vocalist Mark Shaw formerly playing Billie Joe – and retaining the mannerisms – in a local Green Day tribute act. Chasing Ghosts is a little darker, but 666 Feet and I’m Sinking are the kind of upbeat good time punk rock and roll that made the Gaslight Anthem so much fun.

Palm Beach are a local duo that make an almighty racket on the drums and combine it with lush rhythm guitars and Billy Corgan-esque whiny vocals. The drummer alone is worth the entrance fee, pounding fiercely on his skins like his very life depended on it, and the band’s sound is nothing short of joyous on tracks like Lost In Waves and the title track of their EP, UNO. Vocally it comes down to whether you like that style or not, but they certainly win over audiences and the sight of two girls down the front screaming the snotty punk closer I Don’t Like You in each other’s faces is possibly the highlight of the night.  

The first night of their European tour sees Spielbergs hitting Newcastle for the third time, not bad for a band who once said their goal was to never play live! Initially a home side project for three stalwarts of the Norwegian punk scene, it soon became clear that when you write songs as immediate as Five On It, you’re gonna find that you have an audience. Everything is anthemic, from the three-minute blasts of Replacements-eque bar band rock of Distant Star, to the overblown distortion frenzies of the brilliantly titled McDonald’s (Please Don’t Fuck Up My Order). The threesome, fleshed out to include a touring keyboardist, are likely to find that audience will only grow in the near future with Running All The Way Home, the title track from their forthcoming new EP; all hooks and riffs, it’s the most infectious thing they’ve done so far. A short but sweet set is over by the ungodly time of 9.30 and despite the pessimism of the raucous We Are All Going To Die’s title, the audience can’t help but skip out feeling enriched after a night of good old-fashioned indie rock and roll.


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