Tonight Albert Hammond, Jr., guitarist of New York indie rockers, The Strokes, brought his solo five-piece project to the O2 Academy 2 in Newcastle.
The intimate surroundings of this venue was a rare treat for the North East fans of The Strokes more accustomed to seeing Hammond playing on the bigger festival/arena stage. Hammond is currently touring off the back of his latest EP released on Cult Records at the end of 2013 titled AHJ.
Opening for Hammond was the five-piece Canadian band Nightbox who, we were told by front man Jacob, had just flown in from Toronto that morning. They brought us a great set of up tempo indie rock with an electro twist, reminiscent of the likes of Two Door Cinema Club and Yeasayer. The band recently released their new EP titled The Panic Sequence. They received a great response from the local crowd leaving them suitably warmed for the much awaited Albert Hammond, Jr.
The Strokes axeman took to the stage, white Fender Stratocaster in hand He opened set with Rocket from his second solo album, Â¿CÃ³mo Te Llama?, before belting through an emphatic 80-minute set. “This is a new one” said Hammond before playing Cooker Ship from the excellent AHJ release. The set included all four tracks off AHJ.
The band also played a superb cover of Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve?) by The Buzzcocks. Hammond remarked at having noticed a poster for a recent show by the legendary English punk band at the same venue. He then slowed it down, as the rest of the band left the stage, playing Call An Ambulance from his dÃ©but solo album, Yours To Keep. The crowd hung on every word, and the band then rejoined him on stage for Blue Skies.
Albert treated the audience by debuting One Way Trigger from The Strokes latest album, Comedown Machine. This was the first time the track has been played live anywhere and receiving the biggest cheer of the night from the Newcastle faithful. The band brought their set to a close by smashing their way through a great cover of Last Caress by US punk rockers, The Misfits, before leaving the stage to rapturous applause. This was the first visit to the region by Albert Hammond, Jr. and hopefully it won’t be the last.
Albert Hammond Jr. Set List:
Victory At Monterey
Everyone Gets a Star
Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve?) – (Buzzcocks Cover)
Call An Ambulance
Hard To Live in the City
One Way Trigger – (The Strokes song)
Last Caress – (Misfits Cover)
Nightbox Set List:
In The Rural
The Panic Sequence