In this day and age, the music industry is so over-saturated. The internet has levelled the playing field, meaning that now more than ever there is so much music out there for our consumption.

This situation acts almost like a double-edged sword meaning new bands now have the tools at their disposal to get their music out there, but at the same time, there is now more competition than ever. Presently bands have to have something special, be original or have that certain X factor to stand out so to speak.

On Teesside, Twisterella Festival has been promoting the best of new music and the grassroots scene for many years. Throughout its history, the one-day event has had the likes of Sam Fender, Clean Cut Kid, and The Blinders pass through its doors. And this year’s lineup has just as many high quality acts as previously mentioned.

On a Saturday it’s never too early for a hair of the dog. And so Liverpool based outfit Red Rum Club sounded like a perfect starting point. And Teesside University SU was packed to the rafters for the band’s eagerly anticipated set.

The group certainly brought something original to the proceedings with a sound which was reminiscent of The Zutons meets Ennio Morricone. The Scouse indie rock outfit fused Mariachi music into their mix thanks to effective use of the trumpet particularly on tracks such as Casanova and Calexico.

Red Rum Club knows how to get the party started and tracks like Hung Up, new song Ballerino and uplifting fan favourites such as TV Said So get the crowd moving from the off. The group finished on Would You Rather Be Lonely before dashing to Manchester for their second show of the day. These guys are destined for the big time for sure.

Talk Like Tigers was a nice change of pace mid-afternoon at the Westgarth Social Club. Hailing from the North East the in-demand duo has been seen in recent years as backing vocalists to the likes of Duffy as well as more recently Elvana. And the pair’s distinctive brand of synth-pop certainly strikes a chord with their Teesside crowd.

However, when it comes to duos, The Pearl Harts took the prize. As they turn their attention towards their sophomore album, this show marks the pair’s last gig of the year and they intend to go out with a bang. Having performed in the region recently with the likes of Skunk Anansie and Louise Distras, the band had already started to lay some foundations in the region. Aside from their fans, the band was also watched on by Babyteeth who had just finished their set at The Townhouse.

This all-girl two-piece can make more noise than most bands twice their size. With their relentless hard-hitting rhythm and fuzz fuelled blues-rock based guitar riffs the band delivered a no messing set that centred on their debut album Glitter and Spit. With just a short time to make their mark the band made a huge impact at TS One whilst also proving to be one of our highlights of the festival.

Rounding out our day at Twisterella was London based quartet Saint Agnes who delivered a ferocious set at The Westgarth Social Club. The room didn’t take long to get hot and sweaty as the band trounced their way through a set centring on their debut album Welcome To Silvertown.

Lead vocalist Kitty turned the stage into her playground as she used every inch of the Westgarth’s downstairs venue to fire up the crowd. And with the energetic moshing taking place at the front, it was mission accomplished in that respect. The band closed out their short but sweet eight-song set with new single Brother. If you are looking for the X-Factor look no further than Saint Agnes. The band has the image, the tunes and the rock and roll attitude to take them to the top. Big things await this British quartet.

The beauty of Twisterella festival is both the diversity of the lineup and the supportive environment for emerging talent. This event showcased both the best of the national and local music scenes. The festival spans several venues in the surrounding area of Teesside University. Each destination is just a short walk for one another making it possible to get around the event with ease. The only hard part is deciding on which acts to choose from during the event’s action-packed programme. We can hardly wait for next year already.

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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