LIVE REVIEW: Tom Joshua, Zoe Graham, Mt. Misery @ Westgarth Social Club, Middlesbrough (30.11.19) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Tom Joshua by Andy Lochrie

It had been many months since local lad currently making good, Tom Joshua, had addressed an audience on Teesside. You could sense the anticipation, almost taste the excitement and boy oh boy did he deliver. He’s a friendly down to earth lad but with a wonderful gift of transposing and transforming the everyday into the exceptional; not to mention a golden voice to light up those songs.

First things first, and it has been a great year for Mt. Misery, thanks to their easy style, smooth vocals, rippling guitar leads and memorable songs like Blink of an Eye. Rather like warm Bread with David Gates at the controls, complete with melody and matching dungarees.

Zoe Graham last graced these parts a year or so ago descending from Glasgow, to back up Fatherson. A young solo artist with vibrant personality and exceptional multi-tasking talent, she switched between loop peddles, hands free for guitar and keyboards to accompany her lovely, engaging voice. Striking songs like Gradual Move describe life changes, growing up, growing apart and the death of a pet dog. Industrial Strength is the first song I have ever heard about Velcro.

The meekly smiling young man in a jacket of many painted panels, tuned up and captured the hearts of all in the room. Tom Joshua‘s guitar and vocals were augmented by rich musical accompaniment of keyboards, drums, violin and cello. The self-confessed sausage-eating vegetarian chef has a side order of scintillating songs, all served with a voice that makes you want to whoop with delight. Songs born of dreamy contemplation through the windows of the no.17 bus, and others rooted in their hometown (name-checking Teesside Park and Showcase Cinema) framing other mini dramas.

Roared back for an encore – the wonderful, emotional and enriching, Suckers – Tom Joshua left us with a glow that could see off the bitterest of cold snaps.

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