A quartet of 90’s rock heavyweights descends upon the O2 Academy Newcastle as the Britrock Must Be Destroyed Tour pulls into town.

Back in 1993/94 if you had been asked to pick a fantasy rock festival line up its fair to say that each of tonight’s incredible bill would have made the cut. This evening’s musical extravaganza brings with it in tow four of the greatest rock hitmakers of the 1990’s.

London-based quartet Dodgy are first to hit the stage to those in attendance early in the evening. Having witnessed great success during the Britpop renaissance of the 90’s the group deliver a short but sweet 30 minute set featuring several of their most commercially successful singles. Upbeat cheery songs such as “Good Enough” and “Staying Out For The Summer” feel perfectly fitting for this unusually warm day on Tyneside. Dodgy immediately sets the tone for the night ahead.

With three of the four bands on the bill performing full sets each night, the running order has been rotating on a city by city basis. Tonight it’s the turn of Bradford lads Terrorvision to make their mark early on.  The five-piece burst onto the stage like a vortex of energy as they launch into crowd-pleasing renditions of “Discotheque Wreck” and “Alice What’s The Matter”.

Terrorvision certainly mean business delivering a set predominantly focussing on their seminal album How To Make Friends And Influence People. All five singles from the release including “Oblivion”, “Middleman” and “Pretend Best Friend” are included in the set. Ever the showman Tony Wright covers every inch of the stage, and occasionally even ventures into the security pit to get up close and personal with the fans at the front. Tonight the Newcastle faithful in attendance are in fine voice and sing wholeheartedly every word of every song. The band closes out their 60 minute set by taking us back to the start of their career with “My House”. To put it in their own words, tonight Terrorvision are mostly certainly ‘shit hot’.

The beauty of this bill is that each band brings something different to the table and Somerset-based outfit Reef are no exception to that rule. The group kicks off their set with their groove-heavy hits “Naked” and the anthemic “Place Your Hands”, which each, in turn, hit the spot.

Of course, the focus of tonight’s event is the 1990’s; a dear and beloved era of music for many in the room. However, with an astounding new album Revelation under their belts, Reef takes the opportunity to bring their set up to the current date with a trio of their freshest cuts. This includes the likes of their mellow and somewhat harmonious Sheryl Crow collaboration “My Sweet Love”, the fuzz fuelled “Precious Metal” and the ferocious title track itself. The latter of which has been receiving a lot of airplay from the likes of Planet Rock Radio and understandably so. On the strength of the new material featured in their set, Reef are definitely back with a bang.

Tonight’s headliners need no introduction to the O2 Academy Newcastle crowd. It’s always a special occasion when local lads The Wildhearts perform in the North East of England, and more so for this homecoming show as the band is back to their classic line-up featuring the return of Danny McCormack on bass. Tonight’s date in the ‘toon’ means just as much to the band as the fans; Ginger Wildheart wholeheartedly declares Newcastle to be the ‘rock and roll capital of Britain’.

The Wildhearts deliver the strongest set possible which is packed full of wall to wall classics. Approximately half of tonight’s setlist is lifted from the band’s debut album Earth vs the Wildhearts. With their no messing approach the four-piece belt through a sixteen song set featuring a multitude of euphoric hard rock anthems that includes set opener “TV Tan”, the raucous “My Baby Is A Headfuck ”, the incredibly infectious “Everlone” and old favourite “Nothing Ever Changes But Your Shoes”.

This evening The Wildhearts come out with all guns blazing and do not stop until Newcastle is destroyed. For over an hour the Geordie Wildhearts fans in attendance are undeniably taken to wonderland.

Tonight the packed out audience inside of the O2 Academy Newcastle are nostalgically transported back to the 90’s and it is most certainly a memorable and enjoyable experience for all. The music of these four gifted and hard rocking bands still sounds as fresh and relevant as it did in 1993.

The Wildhearts
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Event Date: 20-May-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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