‘I live for that feeling you get when you walk on stage to a capacity crowd and they just love every minute’ – Ian Barnes
Who: Newcastle based indie rock band The Longsands
When: Saturday 27th June 2015
Where: O2 Academy, Newcastle
I’ve been a massive fan of these guys for years now. I went to school in Cramlington with Trevor and Ian and although that might sound like I’m going to be biased here, but if anything it means I’d be more than happy to tell them if I thought they were rubbish.
It’s really REALLY weird seeing people you went to school with being all talented and famous, my most vivid memory of Trevor is having to speak out a scene from Romeo and Juliet together in year 8 English. I was also lucky enough to have Trevor and Ian play at my wedding a few years ago, a real highlight of their career I’m sure.
Formed in Cramlington in Northumberland they’ve caused quite a stir in the north east and have built up a very loyal following. They’ve toured with the likes of The Complete Stone Roses, The Hoosiers, The Complete Jam and Paul Weller’s Band and recorded an acoustic session with ‘Wispering’ Bob Harris on BBC Radio 2. Their debut single Worlds Collide battled Take That for the Best Seller space in HMV in Newcastle, beat off competition from The Cribbs, The Charlatans and Badly Drawn Boy to win BBC Radio Manchester’s Band of the Festival at the city’s Friends of Mine Festival, and did I mention they played at my wedding?! What’s even more astounding is that they’re still bloody lovely lads and still have time to chat and catch up with that chubby blonde girl from middle school whenever I see them!
This gig marks one of their first in about 11 months. Since the hugely successful debut album ‘Meet Me in Spanish City’ was released they toured for a bit then have been locked in the studio working on new material. A lot of which they played tonight. I have to say, all bias aside, they were fantastic. I’m not sure whether it was the benefit of a big venue production, or just a few months off to re-charge their batteries and regain their passion but in my opinion they’ve never sounded better and Trevor’s vocals in particular were sharp and on point.
The Oasis and 90’s britpop influence is still evident, Ian’s voice in particular is very reminiscent of a young Liam Gallagher, but in a chart that’s currently dominated by quirky posh boys with guitars and dance music that’s all the more refreshing. This is honest, gritty working class rock and roll music. Their new material blended well with old and as the venue gradually filled up, by the end it was no longer a gig, it was a full blown concert. The crowd were loving it and all around me I heard people singing along to Worlds Collide and Little Britain (and no one more out of tune or as loud as me!). Interaction with the crowd was also very good, there was loads of banter within the band and between the band and crowd which makes them all the more down to earth and likable.
If I had one tiny criticism it would be that the lead singer, Trevor, is a little too self deprecating at times, it’s a very north eastern thing to be modest and I totally get that he has a laid back vibe about him but if you’re as brilliant as these guys are, it would be nice to see them believe how brilliant they are.
There’s a single out on the summer and new album following before Christmas and I’m sure more live dates supporting them so check them out if you get chance, you won’t regret it!