Whilst Seattle’s Candlebox may not have toured the UK much during their heyday of the 1990s the group has certainly been making up for it in recent times.
This evening’s show at The Cluny in Newcastle being Candlebox’s second show in the city inside of the last 3 years. And whilst frontman Kevin Martin may be the only remaining member from the band’s original line-up, the group’s current incarnation certainly packs a punch.
Having recently been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the original members of Pearl Jam, Candlebox’s drummer Dave Krusen requires no introduction. Of course, the legendary sticks man has featured on many of the band’s albums dating back to 1998’s Happy Pills, and following the group’s hiatus in 2000 has been a permanent feature in the group since 2015.
Last year Candlebox celebrated the 25th anniversary of their eponymous debut album, and subsequently, this evening’s show is very much a retrospective look back at their seminal release. This being a record which sold in excess of 4 million copies worldwide – an impressive feat to say the least.
At the top of the show it feels as though the band open a time capsule back to 1993 as they kick off the proceedings with four grunge-tinged classics from their debut release including the likes of “Don’t You”, “Change”, “Blossom”, and “No Sense”, which in turn sets to tone for the night ahead.
Frontman Kevin Martin spends most of the show prowling the edge of the stage whilst simultaneously spurring on the band’s loyal fans up front.
Candlebox brings their set up to the present date with a pair of tracks from their latest studio album Disappearing In Airports with both “Vexatious” and “Supernova” featuring. Each of these tracks have a more contemporary feel and stand out against a backdrop of the band’s 90s material. This evening’s set largely stems from the band’s debut record with only a few tracks featured from the rest of the Candlebox discography.
Although the UK has been battered by heavy rain this week, the Newcastle crowd can’t help but think about warmer days, and the infectious melody of “Sweet Summertime” certainly helps to part the clouds on Tyneside.
Martin switches up the pace with the beautiful and somewhat heartfelt acoustic ballad “Sometimes” before bringing the tempo back up with the groove-heavy rocker “Stand”.
With time now running out and an impending curfew looming Candlebox close out the show with a four back to back classics from their debut record by way of “Cover Me” and “He Calls Home” along with hit singles “You” and “Far Behind”. Before the latter of which, Kevin delivers an emotive dedication to his dear friend – the late great Andrew Wood from Seattle grunge godfathers Mother Love Bone.
Whilst this evening’s show is certainly nostalgic and transports the Newcastle audience to the grunge rock renaissance of the 90s, Candlebox are once again looking to the future. We are led to believe that a new album is in the pipeline, with the band currently writing towards their forthcoming release. We look forward to more of what is to come from this legendary US outfit as they move towards their next chapter – here’s to the next 25 years.