Hit The North makes its debut on the UK festival circuit this bank holiday weekend.

The festival is the first multi-venue inner city music showcase of this scale in the North East of England. Spanning fifteen venues across Newcastle City Centre and hosting around eighty bands, Hit The North aims to follow suit with the likes of the widely recognised Live at Leeds and Great Escape festivals elsewhere around the country.

Upon arrival in the city this evening, it’s very apparent the scale of this event, with music fans scurrying venue to venue, tour vans lining the roads of every street and musicians lugging their equipment everywhere you look.

The great thing about events like this is that it gives the attendees the opportunity to see bands that they might not necessarily have seen otherwise, due to the sheer number of artists on display and the incredibly diverse lineup on the bill this evening, there’s something here for everyone. With so many hotly tipped acts featuring, the festival punters get the opportunity to catch the next big thing before they break.

Over on the main stage at the O2 Academy Newcastle, local lads The Pale White seem a popular choice and get the night off to a lively start with their distinct brand of hard-hitting, fuzz-fueled indie rock. The trio has recently been out on the road with The Amazons, as well as attracting airplay from the likes of BBC Radio 1, upon their performance it’s easy to understand why.

Liverpool-based five piece Paris Youth Foundation deliver a set packed full of indie anthems, and with appearances already booked for this year’s Reading and Leeds festival, the band will inevitably be a hit on the summer festival circuit. Tracks like “The Off Button” stand out in the set, with its catchy hooks, intricate guitar riffs and tight drum groove; the song ebbs and flows throughout before culminating in a roaring crescendo.

Black Honey has definitely been making waves in the right direction. The energetic quartet certainly makes an impact with their infectious indie pop.

The band’s lead vocalist Izzy Phillips conjures up images of Debbie Harry and quite literally has the Tyneside audience eating out of the palms of her hand, enticing the crowd to pogo along to the likes of “Madonna”, “Blood Lust” and set closer “Corrine”, which leaves the crowd wanting more. However, the band’s fans won’t have to wait for long, as Black Honey will return to the O2 Academy Newcastle in May as main support to hard rock heavyweights Royal Blood.

Australian six-piece outfit DMA’S take the award for having travelled the furthest to be here today. Despite the fact that the band originate from Sydney, they have managed to encapsulate that distinctive 90s Manchester sound made famous by the likes of The Stone Roses, The Happy Mondays and Oasis and they not only do it, but they do it very well and are met by a great response. The band’s set is largely taken from their debut record Hills End with the likes of “Play It Out” and “Step Up The Morphine” really standing out in their performance. A big future awaits DMA’S.

The Hunna have witnessed a meteoric rise in the last eighteen months after recent sell out shows in Newcastle, the Hertfordshire based four piece makes a welcome return to Tyneside. It’s no surprise that their fans are out in force tonight at The Boilershop Steamer. The Hunna’s set is loaded with crowd-pleasing hits and straight up guitar-heavy indie rock. The crowd hang on every word of tracks from their first long player 100 including the likes of their explosive debut single “Bonfire” and “You and Me”.

Slaves round out the lineup on the main stage at the O2 Academy Newcastle. The lively British garage-punk duo delivers a fierce set, which incites the Geordie crowd and whips them into a frenzy. Sonically Slaves huge sound is characterised by the hard hitting drum/percussion groove of Isaac Holman, who literally beats his drums like they owe him money and the blistering guitar/bass riffs of Laurie Vincent. The band belt their way through the likes of fan favourites “Cheer Up London” and “Debbie Where’s Your Car” as well as tracks from their latest studio album Take Control which was released last summer.

As the night progresses the festival faithful head into the city’s clubs and late bars. Scottish indie rock outfit Frightened Rabbit prove to be a popular choice at The Riverside. With a history spanning almost 14 years, the band are arguably one of the most established acts on the bill this evening. Opening the show with the incredible “Get Out” from their latest offering the five piece wow the locals with a career-spanning set which pays emphasis on their last two albums Painting of a Panic Attack and Pedestrian Verse along with fan favourites like “The Woodpile”.

The inaugural Hit The North festival proves to be a huge success, we eagerly await what is to come from the newest addition to the North East music calendar.

Hit The North
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Event Date: 28-APR-2017

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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