LIVE REVIEW: Tugboat Captain, Mt. Misery, Charts and Graphs @ Little Buildings, Newcastle (18.10.21) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Londoners Tugboat Captain performed an hour of DIY greatness on the Little Buildings stage on Monday 18th October, with the tour celebrating the anniversary release of their debut experimental punk synth album. Tugboat Captain are full of hippy goodness, and their eccentrics can be summed up in the pianist crafting handmade friendship bracelets in the corner of the bar for the merch table.

Seeing the four-piece, who had been in the crowd supporting the rest of the artists all night, felt like listening to a movie soundtrack with an electronic and rather nostalgic vibe to their music. The band confirmed this feeling through a witty comment before their song No Plans (For this Year), which had been taken off a Netflix show soundtrack. The band talked to the crowd as friends, chatting about the audiobook they’ve all been collectively listening to on tour which had inspired them to dedicate a song to the hero of the action novel. Set highlight was Don’t Want To Wake Up On My Own and, despite the corniness of choosing this with it being their hit song, the performance was crafted cleanly and confidently and the funky synths really shone through to make it their best song of the night.

The two support acts really made the gig feel more like an equal performance space for all than simply supporting the bigger band. It was Charts and Graphs second ever gig, and you would not believe it from the sound of their set. The post-punk three-piece approached the stage with a confidence that is seen after years of gigging. Expecting the standard drums, guitar and bass, the band had me hooked when the vocalist pulled out the strangest looking xylophone for the first tune World in Video, mixing 80’s beats with an early Arctic Monkeys cheek and a classic rock backing soundscape. These guys know their style, which was great to see at such an early stage in their development.

Second up was Mt. Misery, who are possibly the cutest thing to come out of Hartlepool, spinning romantic songs with a youthful innocence that is captivating in their live performance. Developing from a bedroom lo-fi project into the established four-piece band, the catchy songs of Mt. Misery, such as personal favourite the funky Taken by the Tide, have a beautiful flow. The set-list induced an ambient atmosphere, showcasing both melodic dream pop tunes and softer rock songs, and the experience within Little Buildings felt really intimate.

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