Alternative rock pioneer Mark Lanegan makes his second appearance on Tyneside inside of twelve months this time to team up with long-term collaborator Duke Garwood.
Earlier this year Mark Lanegan released his second studio album with Duke Garwood in the shape of With Animals. Tonight the pair join forces once again as they kick off their current UK tour with an intimate show inside of Hall 2 of the Sage Gateshead.
As Lanegan and Garwood enter this largely seated auditorium the stage is predominantly backlit with minimal red lighting, which rather effectively sets the mood for the night ahead. This evening’s concert is split into two approximately 45-minute sets.
During the first instalment, Lanegan and Garwood take the audience through their 2013 debut album Black Pudding in its entirety. The record is performed in full, following the track sequencing to a tea. Each of the four musicians appearing on stage grapple with a myriad of instruments to seamlessly bring these intricate compositions to life.
There are many highlights in the first half of the show including “Driver” which features some beautiful atmospheric fretwork from Garwood, “Death Rides A White Horse” with its poetic lyricism from Lanegan and the sonically vast and multi-layered “Thank You”. During the latter of which Lanegan strums an electric guitar with a violin bow, which in turn adds texture to the number.
Mark Lanegan assumes his position behind a music stand centre stage throughout. His distinctively husky Baritone voice resonates throughout this acoustically perfect room all night long. With the exception of the occasional ‘Thank you very much’ Lanegan largely prefers to let the music do the talking. Similarly, the crowd are transfixed; applause at the end of each song momentarily breaks their focus.
With its electro drum rhythm, vocal harmonies and catchy hooks, single “Cold Molly” certainly hits the spot. The first half of the show is brought to its close with “Manchester Special”; an instrumental guitar piece performed entirely by Duke Garwood.
Much in the same vein as the first set, the second half of the evening features a performance of Lanegan and Garwood’s sophomore album With Animals in full.
Lanegan and Garwood’s latest offering covers a vast musical landscape. At one end of the spectrum tracks such as “L.A Blue” and “Spaceman” are built on a solid foundation of the blues whereas, with the likes of the trip-hop-tinged “Save Me” and the title track itself, the pair are a lot more open to musical experimentation and exploration. Duke Garwood is a master of his craft, and produces, a whole raft of wonderful tones and sounds from his trusty axe throughout the course of the evening.
With just Lanegan and Garwood remaining on stage, the pair brings their main set to a close with “Desert Song” before a simple wave goodbye from Mark signals the end of the With Animals segment of the show. A two-song encore featuring a song from each artist’s solo body of work brings the show full circle.
On the strength of tonight’s performance and their latest release, it’s fair to say that Mark Lanegan and Duke Garwood continue to push their creative boundaries with each project they turn their hands too. The pair defies the mainstream and refuse to be pigeon-holed into any one particular musical genre. Lanegan continues to prove that he is in the form of his life right now.
Event Date: 01-Oct-2018