Ariana Grande – No Tears Left To Cry: A great track from Ariana here. As soon as the really infectious beat kicks in after the intro i could tell it was going to be a bop. Ariana’s voice sounds great too here, with the spoken ‘shut your mouth’ refrains adding a real level of personality to the track, and the stronger vocal refrains are also excellent. The instrumental too grows on me with each listen, it’s really well layered with little details that creep in now and again. If the rest of her upcoming album is this good, we’re in for a treat. 96%
Father John Misty –
Disappointing Diamonds Are The Rarest of Them All: Another great track from Mr.Misty’s just announced album ‘God’s Favourite Customer’ out on the 1st of June. The usual FJM combination of witty lyrics and intricate melodies is here, and following on from ‘Mr.Tillman’ this is another track that indicates this album will not be as downbeat as Pure Comedy. 80%
Just Dumb Enough To Try: The most stripped back of the tracks we have heard from this new project so far, this song has a beautiful acoustic guitar backing and it really shows off Josh’s voice. 83%
Teleman – Submarine Life: A really groovy, chill instrumental on this new track from Teleman here, again the band have managed to change their sound without losing the charm that they bring into all of their tracks. Great production here from Boxed In too, he seems to work really well with Teleman. 80%
Blossoms – There’s a Reason Why (I Never Returned Your Calls): This is one of the best tracks Blossoms have released so far. A really catchy hook, chorus and great production make this a great pop track and Tom’s vocals sare very well suited to this production style. Very nice. 85%
Jorja Smith – Blue Lights: Jorja really is one of the best new vocalists in the UK right now, and this track really highlights just how good she is. Nice Dizzee samples near the end too. 80%
From opening track ‘I Love You Baby, I Love You Doll’, it is clear to see that this isn’t going to be a high energy album, but that is never what Parekh & Singh set out to do; the collection of songs are very chilled out, but in no way are they boring.
For a debut album, the quality of the songwriting is sublime, with the songs being simple on the surface, but with every listen to them you hear another little layer, or you notice a certain lyric a bit more. The best track on the album for me is ‘Panda’, with the track being inspired by the poetry of William Blake it is a dreamy, singable song that grows on you every time you hear it, as does the whole album.
Another highlight for me is ‘Ghost’. One of the slower tracks on the album, Ghost has some of the best lyrics on the album; “I’m partially a ghost, don’t you get too close” simple, but very effective.
‘Ocean’ is a stellar debut album, with each song telling its own story without feeling overwritten or too drawn out.
Kicking things off with a dramatic “Hello”, he had the crowd on his side from the first word. Lionel went straight into Running With The Night, and filled the early parts of his set with other massive solo and Commodores hits like Easy and Three Times a Lady.
Throughout the evening, you could start to see why Lionel has been able to keep such a high demand for shows for all these years, his on stage banter with the crowd was genuinely funny, and it came across real and unforced even in carefully planned set pieces. At one point in the show he pointed out a bag in the crowd and asked to see it, the bag turning out to be a piece of official merch that you could get from the stall.
Even in the lesser known songs, he managed to get the crowd going, with his enthusiasm not dropping at all through the set, slower songs like Still didn’t feel boring or out of place, but you knew you would be up dancing again on a few minutes time.
The final run of six songs made you realise just how many hits he actually has, with My Destiny, Say You, Say Me, Dancing on The Ceiling, Hello, We Are The World and All Night Long all coming thick and fast at the end.
At the beginning of the show, Lionel said that him and his band were going to play ‘All of the hits, all night long.’ He wasn’t lying.
“My favourite live music venue is Sage Gateshead.” When I asked Paul Smith, the lead singer of Newcastle indie heroes Maximo Park, and more recently his own solo project, why he liked The Sage in Gateshead so much, this is what he had to say:
“I like certain smaller venues like The Cluny in Newcastle, but the acoustics at the Sage are excellent and it feels like a real event when you enter the building. There are two, differently-sized halls, so you can see smaller acts alongside more popular artists.”
“The range of music they cover is extensive, so that one week you can hear classical music and the next you might see a folk gig.”
When I asked Paul what his favourite gig that he has seen there , he had this to say: “I’ve seen many great concerts there, from The Blue Nile to Martin Carthy, but Nick Cave’s recent stripped-back show sticks in the mind. It was amazing!”
Capacity: 1,640 (Sage One), 600 ( Sage Two)
Date Opened: 17th December 2004
Photo- Mark Savage
In 2015, the venue was used as part of the BBC 6 Music Festival.
Elbow, Nick Cave, Morrissey, James Brown and Blondie have all played at The Sage.
Construction cost over £70m
The venue has 5 bars.
The venue’s curved steel roof, which weighs in at 750 tonnes, is made from 3,000 stainless steel panels and 250 glass panels. If the roof were laid flat, its 12,000 square metre area would be big enough to accommodate two football pitches.