Wednesday, September 7, 2016

What I Did Last Night - Sunflower Bean - Newcastle Digital Think Tank

And while we're with the young, here are Sunflower Bean. My last day at work yesterday and as the afternoon drew on it caught my attention that they were playing that evening at a small club around the corner from me that I'd never been to. A couple of pints for lubrication at my local, a quick phone chat with my mother and then on to the Think Tank where a night of wonder ensued.

First on were a young Newcastle band, I think called Dose who did the Cure/ Chameleons, Shoegazing set of tricks but with no little verve and invention. They'd brought along a pack of friends who proceeded to do the scrum, mild thrash thing which those of us who are no longer so young stood apart from in slight amusement. 

Next up, and the good thing about this kind of gig is there's precious little wait between bands, were a Scottish band called The Van T's. Mirroring Dose who had a three-piece male frontline and a female drummer, Van T's were three glamorous young indie women backed by a hairy male drummer decked out in a Bad Brains t-shirt. They did a strain of garage pop that's done plenty of mileage over the decades and did it supremely well.

So to Sunflower Bean who took the stage to Suicide's Ghost Rider, a neat move which says 'hey we're from New York' as loudly as anything possibly could, and they were fabulous. Loud amplified noise, informed by Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath as much as Sonic Youth and softer, more melodic influences like Beach Fossils and DIIV, they devoured the night.

The set was punctuated by spontaneous walk arounds among the audience by bassist Julia Cumming. The band was obviously thrilled by the euphoric reaction of the audience and commented upon it repeatedly. It has to be said we know what we're doing in that respect here in Newcastle, in terms of allowing ourselves to truly let go. My gig of the year thus far, Sunflower Bean, one to watch as they blossom and grow. Two nil to the young today on It Starts With a Birthstone.

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