Ty Segall and the Freedom Band make a rare appearance on Tyneside in front of a packed out crowd at the Boiler Shop in Newcastle.

Whilst pop sensation Ed Sheeran plays the first of his three sold-out stadium shows just a stone’s throw away from this very room, fans of the underground music scene flock to the Boiler Shop to welcome the arrival of California based garage rock king Ty Segall. 

With such a beautiful Friday evening in the city, natural light pours through a skylight in the roof further enhancing the character of this historic former workspace of Robert Stephenson.

Ty Segall is currently out on the road in support of his latest record Freedom’s Goblin that was released at the start of the year. With a work ethic that is second to none, the American multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter has released an impressive eleven studio albums inside of the last ten years. 

As Ty Segall and the Freedom Band hits the Boiler Shop stage they take a few moments to tune up, during which the audience wholeheartedly sings a couple of verses of “Happy Birthday”, whilst giving the US-based artist a warm Geordie welcome on his special day.

Segall gets the show off to a frantic start with back to back fuzz fuelled numbers in the shape of “Wave Goodbye”, “Fanny Dog”, “Finger” and “Squealer”, whilst barely pausing for breath.

With their no messing approach the Freedom Band launches into “Candy Sam”, with its psychedelic tones, hard-hitting rhythm and blistering guitar riffs, the track is one of the many standout moments of Segall’s career-spanning set.

Whilst always pushing his creative and musical boundaries Segall puts his own distinctive stamp on Hot Chocolate’s timeless number “Every 1’s A Winner” to great effect. But where can they go from here? Of course, the answer is “Despoiler of Cadaver”, with its almost funky, disco vibe and huge reverb fuelled vocals it is the perfect follow-up number in the setlist.

A notable observation is how the band are spread out across the stage, with Segall stood side on from the crowd facing the rest of his four-piece Freedom band. This setup is what you would maybe expect to witness in the band’s rehearsal/studio space. It also gives the show somewhat of an intimate feel, even inside a huge room such as this. With such a viewpoint its almost as though the crowd are peering into what feels like the band’s living room for the duration of their 90-minute set.

The beauty of this stage setup is that each of the band members can closely watch, read and play off one another, which often results in long and extended jams. This is particularly the case during the likes of the epic “Warm Hands” and the band’s gargantuan rendition of “Cherry Red” by The Groundhogs. Ty Segall and the Freedom Band comes together both seamlessly and effortlessly all night long like a huge wall of sound.

Segall closes out the main set with one of the more mellower tracks to feature in the setlist, that being “Sleeper”. With its lo-fi psychedelic tones and incredible twin part guitar harmonies Ty Segall and the Freedom Band leaves the crowd wanting more.

After some deliberation, the band returns to the stage with Segall joking ‘We are going to play a 45-minute song the in the key of “A”; trust me you are going to wish you left’. However, this is most certainly not the case, the band decides to play a fast one and get out of our hair and close out the show with his dark and brooding classic “Girlfriend”, which in turn brings the night to an explosive conclusion.

Tonight Ty Segall and the Freedom Band provides the soundtrack to a birthday party like no other and everyone at the Boiler Shop is invited; the only thing missing is a cake.

Ty Segall
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Event Date: 08-June-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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