Macclesfield based trio The Virginmarys make a welcome return to Tyneside performing in front of a packed out crowd at Think Tank in Newcastle.

The Virginmarys have a strong fan community which surrounds them, and in this day and age where money in the music industry is tight, the fans and their ongoing support have become somewhat of an integral element of their setup.

The trio’s loyal fan base spread the word about the group far and wide between like-minded souls across the globe in a way that most PR companies could only dream of. Subsequently, the word has certainly got out about tonight’s show in the North East of England, with a strong following in attendance.

Erupting onto the stage, The Virginmarys immediately launch into emphatic renditions of “Portrait of Red” and “Dead Man’s Shoes”, which is followed quickly by a fierce airing of “Free To Do”.

The band’s frontman Ally Dickaty performs with such relentless passion and intensity, he truly sinks his heart and soul into his performance. He sings his thought-provoking and poignant lyrics with such authority and gusto that everyone in the room can feel and appreciate the messages he is conveying through the band’s songs. The crowd wholeheartedly sing back every word of every song throughout the course of the night creating somewhat of a special atmosphere inside of the room.

Ally’s partner in crime, Danny Dolan is undoubtedly one of the hardest hitting drummers around right now. Often up on his feet, he comes crashing down on his kit like a tonne of bricks. Along with the band’s latest recruit Ross on bass, the three-piece comes together seamlessly like a huge wall of sound.

Earlier this year the band have been in the studio recording some new material, and rather than adopting the traditional approach of holding it all back for a new album the group have been frequently dropping tracks to their fans via digital downloads just to get it out there and keep the momentum going. Several of the band’s freshest cuts feature in the set including “Blind Lead The Blind” and their latest release “Don’t Wanna Be Free”.

With now two albums behind them The Virginmarys have amassed a proverbial arsenal of crowd-pleasing numbers. This includes the likes of the incredibly infectious “Into Dust”, the anthemic “For You My Love” and the frantic “Motherless Land”, which all feature in the set tonight.

As the band hurtle towards the end of their set, they launch into a show-stopping performance of “Just A Ride”, during which the crowd sings so loudly during the first verse that Dickaty takes a step back and lets the fans take the lead. The main set is brought to a close with the epic “End’s Don’t Mend” which culminates in a bluesy jam before the band returns to the stage for a duly deserved two-song encore.

Today we witnessed the hottest April day in the region in over 70 years, and therefore the inclusion of “Northern Sun” seems perfectly fitting on a day like this. The Virginmarys close out an incredible night of music with a gargantuan performance of “Bang Bang Bang”, which features additional percussion from a member of the audience on a huge gong located centre stage.

Those that have had the pleasure of witnessing the band know that The Virginmarys are one of the best British rock acts on the touring circuit right now. We look forward to more of what is to come from the group as they move forward with the next chapter of their studio recordings.

The Virginmarys
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Event Date: 19-April-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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