Grunge rock pioneer Mark Lanegan makes a welcome return to Tyneside in support of his critically
acclaimed new album Gargoyle.

Today the North East of England has been largely battered by heavy rain, sleet and snow, which
continues into the early evening. The surrounding streets of the city’s Boiler Shop arts space start to resemble somewhat of an ice rink by the time the venue opens its doors at 7 pm. However, this does not deter the Newcastle faithful from descending in their droves to pack out this large and now festively decorated historic warehouse/recently refurbished music venue to witness the return of the former Screaming Trees frontman.

As Mark Lanegan enters the room the stage is predominantly backlit with only a modest glimmer of illumination highlighting the band’s faces which rather effectively sets the mood for the night ahead. 

Earlier this year Mark Lanegan released his impressive tenth studio album Gargoyle; an album which was produced by longtime collaborator Alain Johannes. Subsequently, Lanegan takes the opportunity to showcase his latest offering with the inclusion of several tracks from the album including his recent single “Emporer”, the bass-heavy “Nocturne” and the psychedelic, reverb fuelled “Beehive” all featuring in the first half of the show. 

Joining Lanegan onstage this evening is vocalist Shelley Brien who adds some beautiful harmonies particularly on the likes of the anthemic “Harvest Home” and “Floor of the Ocean”. The band’s lineup is rounded out by Aldo Struyf on keys, guitarist Jeff Fielder, Frederic Lyenn Jacques on bass and drummer Jean-Phillipe De Gheest. The show also features the occasional appearance from the multi-talented Duke Garwood who also kicked off the proceedings earlier in the evening.

Throughout the course of the show, Mark traverses a vast musical landscape drawing from his expansive solo body of work. The set ebbs and flows from heartfelt ballads like his take on the Twilight Singers’ “Deepest Shade” through to synth-inflected electro numbers like “Ode To Sad Disco” and edgy rockers like “Riot In My House”. Mark’s distinctively husky Baritone voice resonates throughout this vast former industrial site all night long.

With the exception of the occasional ‘thank you’ and a brief band introduction, Lanegan is predominately quiet and reserved, and largely prefers to let the music do the talking.

Of course, Mark Lanegan has collaborated with a who’s who of the music world over the years and in the final stages of the show, he delivers a beautiful rendition of the ethereal “Come To Me”; a track which Mark recorded alongside PJ Harvey. Tonight Shelly Brien duets with Mark on the number.

Lanegan closes out his main set with the emphatic “Methamphetamine Blues”; a track which originally featured QOTSA frontman/bandmate Josh Homme on Mark’s seminal record Bubblegum. A large percentage of the show this evening is drawn from the latter.

Returning to the stage for a duly deserved encore, and accompanied only by guitarist Jeff Fielder the pair deliver Mark’s spellbinding Americana-tinged classic “One Way Street” before the night is brought to a close with “Bombed”. Lanegan exits the stage to rapturous applause from the Geordie crowd.

Tonight’s show highlights the many facets of Lanegan’s artistry, he truly is genre-defying, powerhouse singer-songwriter. With Mark’s latest album and the subsequent tour which has followed, the alt-rock legend proves that he is currently in the form of his life.  

Mark Lanegan
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Event Date: 30-Nov-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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