Gig Review: Brownbear/Fever Days w/ Special Guests
Customised, Batman-inspired guitars and t-shirts signed by some of Britain’s brightest bands provided the backdrop for the small stage where some of the North East’s finest up-and-coming talent strutted their stuff on a rainy evening on the coast at Tynemouth’s Surf Café.
Artists wandered around the small space, including the local superstar Sam Fender, mingling with each other and newfound fans creating a friendly atmosphere that has become typical of a small gig in the North East.
Pesky metros meant that I unfortunately had to miss the night’s promising openers, The Clarions, and so the first act of the evening was Salsola.
The quartet brought their arsenal of ear-friendly, indie pop riffs to the Surf Café yet they were certainly unnerved by the DIY sound set-up and seemed to let their nerves show.
At times the set felt a bit rushed and complacent, their singer’s vocal struggling as they seemed overwhelmed by the occasion, the chit chat in between songs doing more harm than good as they began to babble at times.
It was certainly not a huge stumble in their so far short career, but a learning curve none-the-less.
Scottish headliner Brownbear produced a set of chirpy folk which at times ventured out into more adventurous, upbeat rock.
Vocals provided by Matt Hickman were polished, certainly the most matured performer to play the showcase event, while his witty chat in between songs got the crowd on side.
He even coped well with a few heckles from those claiming they couldn’t understand his thick Scottish accent.
Undeniably confident and assured on stage, he played nonchalantly with a cheeky smile plastered on his face, clearly enjoying the occasion.
However, the evening undoubtedly went to Fever Days, despite the sound system throwing up a few horrendous screeches in an attempt to trip the high-flying four piece up.
The boys coped well after a rushed soundcheck in order to get up and running quickly before playing their slickest, most professional set to date.
Their newer material points towards dreamy indie with tints of disco, smothered in pop goodness, with synth starting to dominate. The transition from the first song to the second demonstrated their newfound confidence, with a smooth changeover that set the tempo for the rest of their performance.
The boys looked at home on stage, interacting well with the crowd and having a laugh with each other, with Olly dancing in the instrumentals and displaying undeniable confidence on stage.
The future is certainly bright for these boys!
Photography by Jessie Forrest Viethen