Ryan McGarvey makes an eagerly anticipated return to the North East of England in support of his latest album, The Road Chosen.

Rebecca Downes, who has become a regular visitor to the North East of late, opened the show. She is building quite a following in the region, and it showed tonight. Song after song greeted with rapturous applause. Rebecca’s set included tracks like the uptempo “Basement of My Heart” and “Fever In The Night” from her debut album Back To The Start.

Rebecca and the band delivered a spellbinding rendition of the classic Erma Franklin by way of Dusty Springfield/Janis Joplin number, “Piece Of My Heart,” which highlighted her incredible vocal range. They treated the audience to some of Rebecca’s new material in the shape of “That Easy” and the superb “Night Train,” which was one of the standout tracks of the set. Rebecca will be joining King King on tour across the UK later this month.

Tonight, Ryan McGarvey makes his largest UK headline show to date at the Sage Gateshead. Ryan’s blues trio on this special evening features two of his closest friends. Bassist Sam Miller was one of the first people Ryan jammed with at the age 14. Logan Miles rounded out the lineup on drums.

Ryan’s set comprises material from all three of his albums. Opening the show with the hard rocking “Memphis,” the first single to be released from his latest offering, The Road Chosen. The likes of “To An End,” featuring some nice Eddie Van Halen-esque riffs, the funky blues number “Wish I Was Your Man,” and the heartfelt “My Heart To You” were also featured from the new album.

Ryan gave the Geordie crowd a taster of what is to come with new tracks, “Break My Heart Blues” and the track described by McGarvey as a chunky rocker, “Drunken Dream.” Going back to his debut album, Ryan slows things down with “Cryin’ Over You.” At times during the set, it was as if Ryan was channeling the great Stevie Ray Vaughan; he was well and truly in the zone.

McGarvey closed out the main set with “Mystic Dream,” whereby he gave a demonstration of guitar mastery and even went a little bit off piste by injecting a riff from “Killing In The Name” (Rage Against The Machine) rendering the audience speechless and leaving the audience wanting more.

Returning to the stage, drummer Logan Miles launches into an impromptu drum solo, which leads the band in an incredible cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song.” McGarvey amazed all with his guitar literally singing the high notes.

Ryan appeared to be truly humbled by the audience in attendance at The Sage this evening; we get the feeling we had witnessed something special, one of those “I was there” shows. A very bright future beckons for Ryan McGarvey.

Ryan McGarvey
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Rebecca Downes
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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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