LIVE REVIEW: Hapless Hootenanny with The Primitives @ The Cluny | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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With such a wonderfully diverse line up the Hapless Hootenanny had something for everyone, Peter Brewis and Sarah Hayes occupy one of the opening slots providing a wonderfully soothing opening to the day. The duos’ sweet harmonies are a far cry from their other work, but no less compelling as they captivate those lucky enough to catch them with their folk ballads.

In what becomes a recurring theme Blackflower up the tempo next with their hook-laden indie pop, it’s a set laced with new tracks. Each is catchier than the last, both Beautiful Mystery and Your Favourite Place are instant earworms. As we find ourselves humming along for hours after the bands set, it’s a similar situation for the ever brilliant Milky Wimpshake who open with an emphatic rendition of Chemical Spray, before tearing through a plethora of newer material. With their set varying from the harmonies of La Revolution Politique to the anarchic tones of Welcome To Fascist Britain, it’s a set packed with the enthused punk passion that you’d expect from Milky Wimpshake as they never fail to impress.

From the exquisite punk stylings of Milky Wimpshake to the equally eclectic Gina Burch of The Raincoats, opening with a song about Pussy Riot this post punk legend is quick to enthral everyone. Screaming her way passionately through this heartfelt track it’s a jaw-dropping start, which she maintains her anecdotes between songs feel as important as the tracks themselves. There’s an underlying darkness running through a lot of her tracks but I’m Glad I’m Me Today draws out some hope and a little excitement, there is a ramshackle nature which makes this whole experience more endearing.

As The Primitives take to the stage there is an air of anticipation, unfortunately despite the abundance of well-known tracks their performance seemed to lack a spark. Tracy Tracy’s voice was lacking on many tracks, some of which the crowd made up for but in the quieter moments this weakness showed. Even tracks like Stop Killing Me, Sick Of It and particularly Crash sounded flat, which was a shame but in many cases the crowd continually lapped up this nostalgia and kept the atmosphere flowing as they topped off an otherwise outstanding day.

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