It may be cold outside, but Canadian quartet Sumo Cyco certainly brings the fire during their second appearance in Newcastle inside of twelve months.

Coincidently this evening’s date at Newcastle University with CKY falls three years to the day since Sumo Cyco’s first show in the city opening for Fozzy. So much has happened for the group since that time, including the release of their sophomore album Opus Mar, along with UK tours with the likes of The Butcher Babies, Alien Ant Farm as well as their first full headline run earlier this year.

However, the band’s current transatlantic voyage hasn’t been without its problems. During Sumo Cyco’s recent visit to Dublin, their tour van was broken into causing significant damage to their vehicle, along with the theft of personal belongings including both merchandise and the band’s passports. Despite this, the band weren’t prepared to let this slow them down.

Sumo Cyco are not the type of band to sit back, and ease the crowd into their set, as the four-piece enter the room they immediately grab the bull by the horns and draw the crowd to the front of the venue.

The band explodes onto the stage, and their relentless energy is infectious. Although many in the room are here for headliners CKY, Sumo Cyco has certainly brought their fans out in force. One member of the audience, in particular, shows his loyalty to the band with a full-length tattoo featuring the cover of the quartet’s latest album Opus Mar; a die-hard, to say the least.

With just 45 minutes to make their mark, Sumo Cyco give the Geordie faithful a taste of what they are all about. An explosive rendition of “Anti Anthem” features early in the set, and get the party started so to speak. This evening’s set features a nice balance of established fan favourites, choice cuts from Opus Mar along with the occasional cover.

Lead vocalist Skye Sweetnam can be found frequently prowling the security fence or towering over the crowd from a riser on stage whilst simultaneously spurring on the crowd.

Sumo Cyco likes to get the audience outside of the comfort zone and make them feel present and involved in the show. Crowd participation is a key part of a Sumo Cyco show, and tonight is no exception to that rule. The message the band conveys is very much “Free Yourself”, which also happens to be a song that features in the set tonight.

Sweetnam orchestrates the madness as the band creates their own brand of circle pit, before having the whole room get down on the ground and simultaneously leap in the air. Skye even takes an impromptu ride across the room on the shoulders of a fan to get a shot of whisky from the bar. A Sumo Cyco show is most certainly an inclusive experience, and everyone is in this together.

One of the many standout songs of the set is the band’s recent collaboration with Skindred’s Benji Webbe by way of “Move Mountains”. With its dancehall vibe, catchy hooks and sinister guitar riffs from Matt Drake the track certainly hits the spot.

Despite the woes of the last few days, this talented bunch of ‘Fighters’ give it 110% leaving Newcastle ‘Undefeated’, whilst also winning over a lot of new fans in the process.

Sumo Cyco
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Event Date: 03-Dec-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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