|The Sage Seen behind The Tyne Bridge|
While I missed Friday and all the daytime acts I did manage to get tickets for Saturday and Sunday night at The Sage , even though , like Glastonbury , the tickets sold out in minutes. Anyway after going through the ticket checks the event was extremely well organised and every act I say was brilliant. The only real clashes for me were Father John Misty and The Fall and then Django Django and Royal Blood. The main draw for me was Royal Blood , who I'd missed at their sold out Riverside gig in October.
The great thing about the festival is that there are four performance areas in use all under cover of the immense Sage glass domes. You can wander between halls and stand or sit depending on what you want to do. The festival program is here as a PDF download
Anyway this was my choice of viewing:
Introduced by Tom Ravenscroft , my first choice in Hall 2, not too packed but an excellent take on hip hop with a great supporting band , featuring material from the new album. The sound was spot on and that is one of the benefits of hearing acts at the Sage. The new album features the excellent single Off Peak Dreams which has had a lot of airplay on 6 Music.
The Fall:A typical Fall show, but the sound of the band was incredibly clear. Two drummers driving behind a besuited Mark E Smith's monotone ranting vocals in an absolutely brilliant set. This was in Hall 1 the main hall at the Sage and the stalls seats had been removed to create a large mosh pit. The funniest thing I saw was four women comparing holiday snaps and family photos in their phones and tablets as The Fall played, I'm sure Mark E Smith would have been amused by the incongruity of it all.
Still in Hall 1 this was Kate's second set of the night having played with Eliza Carthy earlier. Kate is a rapper and poet with an excellent social edge . Backed by an excellent band she delivered a brilliant set , challenging and exhilarating. She also delivered a call for social care and not to be apathetic as well as telling us that the music community should be treasured, and how we were all apart of that. The biggest sin is apathy , while we might not know what to do we should maintain our awareness . Hopefully attitudes like hers will contribute to a major change come the election this year.
Just caught Stuart doing a Northern Soul disco in Hall 3 , I stayed for Gloria Jones' "Tainted Love" and "Sliced Tomatoes" by The Just Brothers plus another one with suitable disco lighting. Very Enjoyable.
Royal Blood were the main reason I bought a ticket and they certainly did not disappoint. A two piece assaulting the crowd with monstrous riffs and a stunning light show. This is a band that really need to be seen live. The album is great, but live they take it to another level. They were on for about forty minutes but it went by very quickly. Again Hall 1's amazing acoustics added to the amazing experience.
The last act I saw , featuring mesmerising songs from American Interior , his latest album on an excellent stage beset by cacti. The songs are up to Super Furry Animals standard and the set was a fantastic end to a brilliant night. I'm now looking forward to today.