Gig Review: Lovejoy Headliner ft. Luke Porter / The LOAs / Cova Castle
I had the honour of going down to The Cluny 2 to see Scruff of the Neck’s latest Newcastle gig, with the almighty Lovejoy headlining.
First up of the night we had young acoustic act Luke Porter opening the show. In all honesty, I’m not usually big on soloists, but I was quite pleasantly surprised with Porter’s Pete Docherty inspired sound. It wasn’t like a Pete Docherty rip off though, he added his own spin on things by playing guitar in a variety of different styles. Another thing I really admired about Porter was his ability to interact with the crowd. You don’t see this with many older artists, so witnessing a fresh-faced teenager engaging in a bit of crack with the crowd was refreshing. I must be critical of Porter though, as when he asked for audience requests, he denied my choice of ‘Killamangiro’ by Babyshambles, even teasing he can play said song. Shocking…+
Next up was The LOA’s from Washington. They started off with a cover of ‘Rock N Roll Star’ which, despite being is a great song, dashed my expectations because they opened with a cover. I was wrong to be so salty though, as I was pleasantly surprised by the band overall. As you can imagine, The LOA’s sound has taken some inspiration from Oasis, but it was much fatter and heavier. I really enjoyed this style, there was a rawness to it, and it was enjoyable to experience live. The crowd interaction was brilliant too, with the frontman charming the crowd with chants of “here we fucking go” among other things, during the set to keep people engaged. I’m glad that I was wrong to judge these lads so soon because they put on a great show.
Next up was Cova Castle playing their brand of strongbow dark fruits indie rock. The main positive I can take from these guys was that the two guitarists had a fantastic chemistry, creating that dynamic indie rock sound which the 2010s indie scene has thrived on. They brought an amount of energy and showmanship to the night, being able to engage the crowd and get them excited before the headliners were to come on stage. The crowd seemed to really enjoy Cova Castle with their following dancing and appearing to blurt out the lyrics to their singles, an experience which is always enjoyable to experience live. Also, it’s probably worth noting that the front man enjoys gyrating his derriere on stage to the crowd, so they’re worth seeing live if you’re into that.
And lastly, onto the main event themselves, everyone’s favourite youngsters, Lovejoy! It’s hard to pinpoint a genre to put Lovejoy into.
They’ve described themselves as indie, but their raw sound is more akin to a mixture of punk rock and classic rock ‘n’ roll in a brilliant hybrid.
Among their biggest draws is how good they are to watch live, having fantastic chemistry between the four members, all seeming so natural when on stage.
But one of my favourite things about Lovejoy is singer Dan’s voice; it’s very gravelly, with Dan singing in his native North East accent, being so appealing.
It’s not often to hear someone sing with such an prominent accent, but he pulls it off and creates such a good vibe among the audience.
Also, big up to the bassist for unleashing a naughty slap bass solo in the middle of a song, personal highlight for me.
We were also treated to new songs, with the band performing a spoken word track that Dan admitted was an experiment on stage, but it was enjoyable!
Both the musical style and Dan’s ability to perform made the songs sound great. Renditions of classics like ‘Helter Skelter’ by The Beatles and ‘Message To You Rudy’ by The Specials’, a cover that got the crowd up and down, moshing, dancing, sitting on each other’s shoulders and all round having a good time.
Also, further props to Ali and the bassist for stripping into their boxers. It’s this sort of stage camaraderie which live music is missing.
Overall a fantastic night of music! Check out all of the bands if they sounded like your cup of tea!