Airbourne makes a welcome return to the UK following a string of high-profile European festival appearances earlier this summer.

The band released their fourth studio album Breakin’ Outta Hell earlier this year, which saw Airbourne witness their highest ever chart position worldwide during the initial release week. It’s almost three years to the day since the Aussie hard rockers played in the North East of England and the Geordie rock fraternity is out in force to see their return.

Anglo-Swedish all girl garage group The Franklys make their first appearance in Newcastle as they kick off the evening. The band are getting ready to release their eagerly anticipated debut record next year and tonight they take the opportunity to whet our appetites for their future release.The girls add some glamour to the proceedings, brandishing their vintage guitars – their hair flying everywhere as they belt their way through a short but frantic high energy five-song set.

The Franklys have a very distinctive fuzz filled, reverb fueled, psychedelic rock sound. Tracks like the incredibly infectious “Weasel”, “Come Down” with it’s pounding rhythm and dark context, alongside the band’s euphoric punk-tinged single “Castaway” are enough to grab our attention. With just a 20 minute set this evening, the band certainly mean business but it feels just as they are just getting into the swing of things their set is over, leaving both them and us wanting more. Tonight The Franklys definitely made their mark in Newcastle and we look forward to more of what is to come from this exciting new outfit.

Much like Airbourne, Pennsylvania US-based rockers Crobot also have a new album under their belt. Crobot’s third studio album Welcome To Fat City was released back in September, and the band’s set tonight is based heavily on their latest offering, with as many as seven of Crobot’s eleven song set taken from the album.

As Crobot’s set ebbs and flows the band hit Newcastle hard with their distinctive brand of funky, groove heavy, psychedelic rock. The likes of “Right Between The Eyes”, the monolithic “Plague of The Mammoths” and the rather trippy, bass heavy “La Mano De Lucifer” really stand out in the show before the band closes out their set with the wah infused “Welcome To Fat City”. Crobot leaves the Geordie crowd more than warmed up for the mighty Airbourne.

Upon first glance at Airbourne’s stage set it’s pretty obvious they aren’t messing about, the band have come to raise some hell and bring with them in tow roughly thirty-two Marshall amps which line the back wall of the stage. The band are no strangers to Newcastle, having played this very room many times before. Airbourne hit the stage running so to speak with “Ready To Rock” and aren’t they just.

The band whip the audience into a fist-pumping frenzy, with the likes of the anthemic “Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast”, “Rivalry” and “Chewin’ The Fat”. During the latter of which frontman Joel O’ Keefe cracks a can of beer open on his forehead before spraying everyone in his path with the contents, much to his amusement.

During “Girls In Black” O’ Keefe gets up close and personal with the Tyneside crowd, riding on the shoulders of a nearby security guard he circumnavigates the room brandishing his trusty ESP guitar, and he even takes the opportunity to play from the top of the bar, which further incites the crowd at the O2 Academy Newcastle.

The band dedicates “It’s All For Rock ‘n’ Roll” to Lemmy, citing that they wouldn’t be here today if he hadn’t taken them out on tour during their early days. Of course, Lemmy also featured in Airbourne’s video for “Runnin’ Wild”.

Airbourne closes out their main set with fan favourite “No Way But The Hard Way” and “Stand Up For Rock ‘n’ Roll”, and blow the roof off the O2 Academy Newcastle in the process. With each album and tour, that follows Airbourne keep going from strength to strength, they are the epitome of good old-fashioned rock and roll.

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The Franklys
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About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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