Sunday, 28 December 2014

@LilVik reviews the @SmooveTurrell and @CCFunkandSoul pre Xmas gig at @RiversideNCL

A Smoove and Funky Start to Christmas

The last weekend before Christmas and what better way to let your hair down, especially if you are one of the lucky ones who is now off until 2015.

DJ Tom McVicar warmed up the crowd with some soulful funky beats before local lads Smoove and Turrell took to the stage.

And when S&T took their places the whole venue was packed to the rafters. It was definitely a party vibe at The Riverside and got down to business straight away with Don’t Go.  Front man, John Turrell even mentioned the derby day score of the football but this crowd was all about the music. Hands were going up throughout and people just kept dancing. It’s actually quite surprising to know that they were actually playing their fourth straight night with no break, as their energy was 110%.  They played Glasgow and then two sell out nights at Newcastle’s Hoochie Coochie before taking to The Riverside.

Some, like me, are very new to the sounds of Smoove and Turrell.  One stand out is definitely keyboardist Mike Porter.  Seriously, do you know of any other keyboard player that can play with their feet and still hit the keys on time to the beat?  And also took to jumping into the crowd! Turrell and Smoove interacted with the crowd as if they were your best mate and it was reciprocated, especially with their biggest hits Will You Be Mine and Beggarman.

Each member was given a chance to shine with solos with maybe the biggest one going to guitarist Athol Cassidy, as this was to be his last S&T show.  The crowd applauded and rightly so.  He normally is hidden just behind Porter but his sound always stands up front.  In fact of the few times I have seen S&T not one band member shines above the rest and with SEVEN strong members sometimes this can be a hard feat.  So, lets not forget the rhythm of Lloyd Croft on the drums, the bass slapping skills of Andy Champion and Dave Wilde who tinkered on his flute and lit up his saxophone in true Christmas spirit.

Riverside went wild when S&T finished their set and luckily for them headliner Craig Charles was running late due to a flat tyre. And the crowd got their much wanted encore complete with a sock thrown on stage for Mr Porter ;p

As we awaited if the main act would make it on time it was down to the amazing Tim McVicar to keep the crowd entertained and he did not disappoint in keeping the Sunday crowd in house.

Now a personal admission from myself.

I am a huge fan of BBC Radio 6 on a Saturday.  First you have Gilles Peterson on at 3pm then 6pm it’s the Craig Charles Funk and Soul show.  With the head bopping and feet stomping show it is no surprise it had to hit the road.  From the first tune spinned he had the crowd in frenzy. It was hard for me to know whether I should be taking photos or getting down to the tunes. 

Mr Charles definitely brings a show to his DJ sets.  He is singing along and dancing to every tune as if there was no spinning desk in front of him.  And then there’s the light show that comes with it.  The crowd was half and half. Some were simply in awe of watching this man do his stuff and others were bopping the night away.

Christmas spirit or not, there was definitely a lot of soul felt on Sunday with the punters bodies and feet.  Yes, the show ran a little late but this group of funk-soul hipsters from McVicar to Smoove and Turrell and then Craig Charles made sure that each and every ticket payer got their money’s worth.  There have been stories of crowds being let down when artists run late with shows but I can guarantee there was not one person under that roof that left disappointed.

Words and pictures © Victoria Ling of 137 Imaging 

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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Another guest review from @LilVik for @BeverleyKnight at @Sage_Gateshead 's 10th Birthday

The Sage Celebrates its 10th Birthday with a Knockout Performance from Beverley Knight

Unless you been hiding under a rock, this week is the 10th Birthday of The Sage  and what a way to celebrate a birthday, by inviting the funk-soul sister Beverley Knight to sing.

Ms Knight burst onto the stage with much loved numbers Made It Back  and Greatest Day then into a few number from the Soul UK album, which was the last time she had performed at The Sage.  One of the biggest interactions with the crowd was when Apparently Nothing was performed as 90% of the crowd had their mobiles out shining their ‘little lights’.

Hit after hit came from slow songs to funky sounds. Then to honour the 10th birthday of The Sage, hundreds of school children, came onto the stage to perform. These children were also in their 10th year!  What a brilliant addition to the set.  They sang their hearts out and signed a lot of the words to Shoulda Woulda Coulda, Baby Come Home and Keep This Fire Burning.  And a much deserved standing ovation followed.

As some will know, Beverley Knight has been doing West End theatre for a few years now. First there was her role in The Bodyguard and now she is currently in Memphis. So, naturally a number from each show came and blew the roof off the venue. She ended her set with Roachford’s Cuddly Toy leaving the crowd on their feet and wanting more…but that will have to wait til she is next back to the North East.

If I am honest it was a pretty subdued crowd for the first few numbers but Ms Knight gave her all and her crowd interaction was spot on and like any Beverley Knight show she soon got those who normally like to sit and watch a show put on their dancing feet.

HAPPY 10TH BIRTHDAY, THE SAGE. Here’s to more and more Beverley Knight celebrations.

WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHY: Victoria Ling – 137 Imaging





Thursday, 11 December 2014

@MW_Schenker rocks the @O2Academynew #livereview

Michael Schenker: Bridge the Gap tour at the O2 Academy, Newcastle

The good-sized audience at the O2 was treated to some dirty rock and roll from support act, Western Sand. The band played music reminiscent of 90’s band Circus of Power. Fresh from supporting (Filthy) Phil Campbell of Motorhead, they gave a headbanging-inducing performance, with songs such as Black Water Resolution, from their current EP Cut You Down To Size. I’d like to hear more from these lads, the twin-Gibson attack the fast fretboard solos (popular with this crowd) and the small overworked drumkit with almost tribal rhythms, all hit the spot nicely.

Michael Schenker’s Temple of Rock are out touring their new album: Bridge The Gap, with a set of shiny new songs to play. Older ones were revisited, however, the proggy sounding How Long and the instrumental From Coast To Coast gave Herr Schenker (UFO, Scorpions) an opportunity to display his guitar virtuosity. I particularly liked the ode to Ronny James Dio, Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead, which gave Doogie White an opportunity to show off his vocal range. I really took a shine to amiable Scotsman Doogie White, he is a great frontman, and along with everyone else in the band, really loved interacting with the audience, and kept that 4th wall permanently open.

Lord of the Lost and Lonely was one of my favourites of the evening: a rocking, drinking sea shanty. The audience (including me) enthusiastically joined in for the Scorpions anthem Rock You Like A Hurricane..such a simple chorus but somehow so good! The main set was finished with Rock Bottom, another chance for Schenker to really show what he can do with a guitar in a cataclysmic solo. The encore was Lights Out which sounded somewhat better sound-wise than earlier songs that suffered from an overuse of volume and reverb. This wasn’t the band’s fault and they played their hearts out. Every one of them a star, this band are not prepared to come along for the ride, Herman (The German) Rarebell on drums provided the perfect rhythmic scaffolding for the monster that is Michael Schenker’s Temple of Rock. Multi-instrumentalist Wayne Findlay not only played a mean 7 string guitar but provided the essential keyboard support this rock needs. He also has very beautiful hair. The skills of bassist Francis Buchholz did not go unnoticed and he is every bit as active on the stage as he ever has been. This band still recognise the importance of the fans, and fully deserve the career longevity they have achieved. A great first night of the tour. 

Words Stephen and Joanne Oliver, and photos by Joanne Oliver for Jowheretogo

Get in touch, either to use these photos, or to employ us to take some for your band. Telephone: 07928078810


Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Guest writer @LilVik reviews @FleetwoodMac in #SanJose

Fleetwood Mac in San Jose

Tuesday 25th November 2015, the first time I have specifically travelled out of the UK to see my favourite band.

In 2013, I unfortunately missed out on Fleetwood Mac tickets in the UK as I was travelling Australia. Then they announced the gigs over there, only to be cancelled due to John McVie’s cancer scare!  I swore then that the next tour I was going to be there wherever it was. Bring on San Jose, California.

As predicted the venue, SAP Arena, was bigger than those in most UK cities. We were perched on the side from stage up in the high tiers which was perfect except every now and then the staging would revolve and get in the way. Luckily this was not too often.

The usual ‘sounds’ of the Mac taking to the stage were played and the crowd erupted.  They opened with a frenzied performance of Chain. Immediately I was envious of those that could fork out money for the front floor tickets, especially as my area of seating was somewhat subdued!

After the opening, Christine took to the mic to say ‘Hello, San Jose’. A few cheers came, and then Stevie repeated this and the crowd went crazy. This made me feel for Christine a bit but I believe the crowd were definitely excited to have their main girl back, as Ms Nicks was a student down the road at the University and San Jose is where it really began for THIS particular line-up of Fleetwood Mac, as we would be told throughout.

But as soon as Christine took to the lead of You Make Loving Fun it wasn’t long until San Jose took full approval.

A lot of people that have been to a Mac show always say that it seems to be a Buckingham-Nicks show but considering that they have more movement on stage to ‘get to the crowd’ it is no wonder. And with the ever story telling role of Stevie, she had the crowd and myself in her grasp.

Lindsay’s guitar playing is forever outstanding and he took every chance to get his solos in.  As ever they were mesmerizing and probably was the biggest crowd pleaser throughout.

If anyone knows me they know that I am a very big Stevie Nicks fan I must admit I was more in awe of the return of Christine McVie. It was so nice to see the place of the keyboard player back to an original Mac member and hearing the classics that were missing due to McVie’s vocals.  Though the past few tours Stevie has done wonders on Christine’s parts on Don't Stop but it was nice to hear the original back on there.

As Fleetwood Mac have announced their European tour dates including many UK ones I will not spoil the set list but if you have ever been to a Mac show you will not be disappointed.  All the classics are there. Three numbers had me on the verge of tears as I never thought I would live to see the day they would be sang live before my very eyes and ears.

There were a few surprises in vocals acrobatics in Stevie’s solos that I have never witnessed in the shows.  Mick gets  his drumming solo in and makes work of the stage and the crowd. And as always, John takes the quiet role but his bass playing surely makes up for it.

The graphics on the screens were also something else. I have been to many Mac shows and never seen the screen come alive so much.  As Mick says at the end, “the Mac is back!” is no understatement and without echoing other reviews too much, it is true to say that Fleetwood Mac, after a 16-year absence of Christine, is now more complete than ever.  And being a true Mac fan the way the show ends will grab you by heart.

I look forward to my shows in London and Manchester when the Mac return to the UK and I know you will not be disappointed if you have your tickets. It’s one of the must sees of 2015 and definitely a highlight of 2014.

Words and photography : Victoria Ling 

Monday, 1 December 2014

@PamelaVardy opening up her house for some festive nibbles..#art makes a great #XmasPressie!

Pam Vardy: Art by a roaring fire and nibbles, lovely!

Sunday 7th and Sunday 14th December, 11a.m. – 6 p.m.Mulled wine and mince pies in front of a log fire in the atmospheric setting of a medieval pele tower.

Pam’s paintings, prints, cards and gift vouchers for paintings; workshops.Pele House (The Old Vicarage), Middle Rd., Shilbottle, Nr. Alnwick, NE66 2XS(located between St. James Church and Village Farm fitness centre)Tel: 01665 575017 Mob: 07503724848  email: A donation from sales to the National Society for Phenylketonuria (pku).

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