The Sunshine Underground are back with their brand new self entitled album, fully funded by their loyal fans who were in for a night filled with dance floor fillers, Fred Perry polo tops and more Uncles than at wedding. It was a gig not to be missed, but it left me wondering, people of Newcastle where were you?
Whilst others still have their hearts set on old songs such as 2006 album Raise The Alarm, most of the audience like myself were thankful to hear a setlist consisting both old and new material.
Opening very aptly with Start, it took four songs until the atmosphere changed from gig to party. ‘One more song, one more song’ a drunk man chanted, just four songs into the set. In good humour frontman, Craig Wellington responded to the pleasure of the audience, ‘we have plenty more’. This exchange of wit undoubtedly set the tone for the rest of the night with songs such as: Commercial, Don’t Stop and In Your Arms providing a match more suited than online dating. The Sunshine Underground are breathing new life into their material, their natural instincts must be dance music as their performance radiated enjoyment.
‘WOULD YOU STOP TALKING BECAUSE I DON’T THINK WE AGREE’ echoed throughout Riverside. A softened remediation of fan favourite Borders brought each member of the audience in a complete stance, all arms raised in the air and everyone’s voice coming together as one. For that one minute before drums bass and lead guitar maximised sound, The Sunshine Underground managed to captivate everyone’s mind to reminisce back to simpler times where there was no Snapchat and Facebook wasn’t a song contest. However, they also offered an insight into the future of the four piece.
The night continued the way it started, rippling through a fourteen song set list that saw Ghosts, Somebody’s and Finally We Arrive, that I believed showed Craig’s strongest vocal range, but it also showed the bands professionalism to keep producing high quality songs and performances after nearly a decade within the music industry. Credit is due to them, and I would recommend anyone to go and see them whilst they’re touring the lengths and breaths of the UK.
My personal highlight of the evening came towards the latter stages of the night, when Put You In Your Place signalled universal appraisal from the more than excitable crowd. The indie rock anthem combined with its rhythmic beat caught the hips and lips of the audience. And, I for one, threw some shapes in the air whilst learning how to dad dance.
This gig renewed my love for live music. Although, Glastonbury sold out in record time this week I must admit I would rather exchange 200+ pounds for a dozen such gigs in a great local venue.
Reviewer: Tyler Marriot
Photographer: Graeme Baty