Gig Review: Gaz Brookfield/Funke and the Two-Tone Baby/Holly Rees
On Friday the 19th of October The Head of Steam hosted another night of serious musical talent as Gaz Brookfield returned to the North on his latest ‘Aged Revolt Tour’ which spanned the length and breadth of the UK.
With support from Funke and the Two-Tone Baby (best name ever?) and Holly Rees, the sold-out Newcastle crowd was treated to a non-stop barrage of excellent original music that made this gig one of the best I’ve seen all year.
Holly Rees was the first to entertain the Head of Steam crowd.
After the overwhelmingly positive reception of her EP ‘Slow Down’ earlier this year, Holly has been making a name for herself on the North East gig circuit.
At this show she was accompanied by the fantastic Liam Mackel on cajon, and the pair really complement each other and deliver a well driven folky-rock sound.
Highlights include the wonderful ‘Magpie’ and ‘Missing Out’ from her most recent release.
Next up was the delightfully innovative Funke and the Two-Tone Baby (seriously, best ever?), who despite sounding like an unusual band name is in fact a solo artist.
Funke makes use of several instruments and a loop system which allows him to stack up multiple musical layers as a live performance. Guitars, synths, beat-box and vocals are used to deliver a punk infused funkadelic set that blew away the Newcastle crowd and got some of the more inclined patrons moving on the dance floor.
The level of accuracy in Funke’s performance is exceptional, and his ability to entertain a crowd is second to none. The highlight of his set was the finisher ‘Not Enough Bonobo’ which had the crowd going in a call and response fashion (I swear I can still hear the Head of Steam collectively screaming ‘TOO MUCH CHIMPANZEE’ in my head two days later).
It is clear to me that, through a lot of practice and dedication to his original music, Funke sets himself apart from other loop-based performers I have seen.
Onto the headliner, the sublime Gaz Brookfield.
Gaz’s studio releases have a rocked up folk quality to them, with comparisons easily made to artists like Frank Turner; and while this tour sees him on the stage as just a solo act, he is still able to deliver the raucous energy present in his recorded music.
Teasing the crowd with the bluesy number ‘Solo Acoustic Guy’ to start off, Gaz quickly jumped into some of his most well-known tracks. A highlight of his set was the fast paced ‘The Diabetes Blues’ which had the energised crowd singing along with the line ‘you can’t drink cider anymore’ as a sort of ironic backing choir.
It was brilliant to see so many fans of Gaz’s music in Newcastle as, despite being from the south of England, he packed the venue and had so many dedicated listeners stood at the front of the stage singing along to every word.
Standing by his modest merchandise table at the end of the gig, Gaz was also very gracious in meeting every single fan that came up to him.
The gig hosted by Jay Landman of Pillar Artists was a great success, and this reviewer hopes to the see Gaz return to Newcastle very soon.
Photography: Jay Landman