This is Tomorrow Festival Review: Part One

This is Tomorrow Festival Review: Part One

After three days of fantastic live music, wild mosh-pits and warm moments of sunshine, it is safe to say that This is Tomorrow 2019, which was held at Exhibition Park in Jesmond this year, was a successful festival – despite some initial difficulties at the beginning…
But all of these drawbacks were outweighed by all the musical talents from the North East and elsewhere, on three stages across three exciting festival days.

Festival Day One – Friday 24/05/19

Day one of my three-day festival-marathon started slightly different to what I had expected. When I arrived at Exhibition Park at 3.30pm on Friday afternoon, I found myself at the end of a long queue, which was a bit surprising, as the festival was meant to open their gates at 3pm.
It was not until 4pm when the gates finally opened to let crowds of excited music enthusiasts swarm into Exhibition Park in Jesmond.

While I was on my way to grab a beer from the bar, I could already hear the familiar cosmic synth sounds and rhythmic guitar riffs from the local band The Old Pink House echoing through the park, and I presumed they were sound-checking. After a minute, however, I realized that they were actually not sound-checking but opening their set with their catchy ear-worm song ‘Expectations’.
I turned around immediately and hurried to the big main stage – my beer had to wait until later.

The Old Pink House Photography by  Claire Jayne Allport

The Old Pink House
Photography by Claire Jayne Allport

While the gates were delayed, The Old Pink House started their set on time, filling the festival grounds with their unique pop sound, for which the band has invented a new genre, namely “cosmic pop” After releasing their debut EP, a number of headline-shows, and a successful UK tour last year, the 4-piece from Newcastle were now opening the main stage of Newcastle’s biggest live music event, delivering a high energy set, full of dreamy and catchy tunes that take you away to distant galaxies.
Besides familiar tracks from their latest EP ‘Expectations’, the band played some new tunes, featuring dreamy synth sounds and psychedelic guitar riffs, paired up with beautiful, soulful lyrics and vocalist Chris’ goose-bump-inducing voice.

Although some of their supporters were still stuck at work or in the queues outside Exhibition Park, The Old Pink House created plenty of energy on stage, which encouraged their fans to dance and sing along to the band’s cosmic pop tunes, while the sun was shining warmly.

To be fair, the sun was burning and I started to regret wearing a black T-shirt, but you can never trust Newcastle’s moody weather, can you?
The afternoon became even hotter when the Newcastle based three-piece The Pale White took the main stage. Being a bit luckier with stage times than their predecessors, The Pale White were supported by a considerable number of people, who had finished work, had equipped themselves with beverages, and were ready to enjoy the band’s catchy rock tunes, such as ‘That Dress’, ‘Downer’ and ‘End of Time’, just to name a few.

I was boiling now but just in the right mood for the next act on the main stage: The wonderful Nothing But Thieves, a 5-piece from Southend-On-Sea, who had come all the way north to bring their emotional and energetic indie-rock tunes to the Toon.

Having watched them playing a couple of times before, I knew their set would certainly not disappoint. The band played a decent mix of songs old and new, slow and fast, wowing their audience with some melodic guitar riffs, catchy choruses and lead-singer Conor’s amazing voice, which goes straight to the heart. Slow, melancholic songs, such as ‘Sorry’ and ‘You Know Me Too Well’, were followed by energetic rock tracks, such as ‘Not Made By Design’, ‘Ban All The Music’ and ‘Amsterdam’, generating some wild mosh-pits.
Surprisingly, I found myself in one of them, jumping around and feeling absolutely thrilled by all the energy that was coming down from the stage.

Nothing But Thieves Photography by  Victoria Wai Photography  for Blank Slate

Nothing But Thieves
Photography by Victoria Wai Photography for Blank Slate

One impressive show was followed by another on the main stage, which was closed by the popular indie-band Foals, who delivered a stunning set, accompanied by a beautiful sunset. The band from Oxford played some of their electronic indie anthems, such as the popular track ‘Mountain At My Gates’. Sadly, Foals’ show was canceled after 40 minutes, due to broken barriers before the stage, leaving fans disappointed and angry.

Much went wrong on that first day of This Is Tomorrow 2019, but, in the end, the great line-up of fantastic artists and brilliant music as well as the beautiful, sunny May-weather outweighed those shortcomings. A fantastic start to an amazing festival weekend in Newcastle!

Cover Photo: The Old Pink House
Taken by Claire Jayne Allport for This is Tomorrow Festival // SSD Concerts and Gigs North East

This is Tomorrow Festival Review: Part Two

This is Tomorrow Festival Review: Part Two

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