Brian Fallon recently released his sophomore album Sleepwalkers, and there are no signs of any second album slump here.

Since The Gaslight Anthem announced their indefinite hiatus back in 2015 Brian Fallon has far from been resting on his laurels. With now two solo albums under his belt Fallon is back out on the road with his band The Howling Weather.

Tonight the New Jersey-based troubadour arrives on Tyneside performing in front of a full house at Newcastle’s Boilershop historic warehouse space to witness the return of The Gaslight Anthem frontman. Such was the demand for this show that tickets have been long since sold out.

Taking to the stage and assuming his position behind the keyboard Fallon kicks off the show with a beautiful airing of the title track of his new album before grasping his trusty guitar and upping the tempo with the Springsteen-esque “Wonderful Life” and the soulful “If You’re your Prayers Don’t Get To Heaven”. The emphasis on Brian’s new record at the top of the show sets the tone for the night ahead.

Throughout the course of the evening, Fallon performs the lion’s share of his latest offering with nine of the twelve tracks on the record featuring in the set. This being a testament to how strong Sleepwalkers truly is. Despite the fact that this record is still relatively new, the fans inside The Boilershop this evening appear to know every word of every song.

There’s also plenty of room for tracks from Fallon’s various other projects including a heartfelt performance of “Lady Killer” by The Horrible Crowes along with the spellbinding “Smoke” by Mollie and the Zombies.

Sleepwalkers is arguably one of the standout rock albums of 2018 thus far, and as a result, there are many memorable moments of the set. Standout songs include hard-hitting garage rock number “Neptune”, the incredibly infectious slice of rock and roll “Come Wander With Me” and the future classic in the making “Etta James”. Fallon sinks his heart and soul into his whole performance.

Tonight’s show is interspersed with Brian’s charming and somewhat witty on-stage banter which centres on subjects such as Halloween and his love of socks. Following a superb cover of “Sultans of Swing” by Dire Straits a member of the audience generously throws a brand new pair of socks onstage for the man himself. Brian subsequently debates with the band the merits of performing a cover from a local musician at every show on the tour in exchange for a pair of free socks. However, he later talks himself out of it.

During Fallon’s three-song encore a solo keyboard reworking of “The ’59 Sound” breathes a new lease of life into this timeless anthem and creates somewhat of a magical atmosphere in the room. The Geordie choir don’t need an invitation to sing along and do so wholeheartedly. Of course, Brian Fallon is getting ready to make an imminent return to The Gaslight Anthem with a sold-out tour marking the 10th anniversary of the group’s seminal sophomore album planned for later this year.

The night is brought to a close with a powerful take of U2’s “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” featuring show openers Dave and Tim Hause on vocals and keys respectively.

On the strength of tonight’s show and Brian Fallon’s now second solo album, it’s fair to say that he continues to go from strength to strength whilst at the same time pushing his own creative boundaries with each of his many different musical projects. Being only three months into the year it will be hard to beat this show. Fallon’s UK return with The Gaslight Anthem can’t come quick enough.

Brian Fallon
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Event Date: 08-Mar-2018

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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