LIVE REVIEW: WIDE SKIES, GREY TAPES, CLANDESTINO @ The Cluny 2, Newcastle (29.08.15) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Local band Clandestino are playing their “first proper gig,” according to vocalist Phil Davids, but you’d never have guessed it from the professional and captivating performance they put on tonight.  Tracks such as Head & Hand from debut EP Heart, Head & Hand are mesmerising, Davids’ soulful voice the perfect accompaniment to the chill-out vibes that fuse jazz, hip-hop, flamenco and even rock.

Newcastle’s Grey Tapes are a fascinating concept; an eclectic collection of musicians and producers making up an electronic band that endeavour to keep things as live and unprocessed as possible.  Their set is made up of a mix of instrumental pieces and catchy dance-pop songs, with the unrequited love of Too Good proving to be the highlight.

London’s Wide Skies are idyllic for the intimate settings of Cluny 2.  Singer Hannah Caughlin and guitarist Jamie McDonald’s wealth of musical experience has done them wonders, and the self-titled opener sets the tone for the evening with its deeply personal and confessional lyrics.  “We didn’t understand our own hearts, only that we should never be apart,” reminisces Hannah, in a fairy-tale voice that evokes memories of anyone from Bjork to Kate Bush to our own Sarah Hall.  The lyrics pull no punches, with a childlike innocent approach to love – no matter how adult the scenario – that can’t help but pluck the heartstrings of all but the most cynical.

Delicate arrangements from the four-piece band provide the perfect backing, with McDonald’s intricate guitar playing proving less is sometimes more. Gold Dust is the perfect choice as the new single whilst previous single Take Care Of Love, is the set highlight; a melody to die for, a tune that sticks in the head with or without the aforementioned promise of nurture.  The Saturday night crowd are already won over but the Kate Bush-esque Lullaby, the plea of Come Home and closer Wide Open Night drawing the Wide Skies to a close.

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