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Cate Le Bon, The Sage, Gateshead

  • Written by  Lee Hammond

Seldom few artists take to the stage as part of the support band. However, this evening is somewhat different with the crème de la crème of Welsh music on show. First up this evening is one of our favourite up and coming acts H. Hawkline; his dulcet welsh tones mesmerising, his stories touching.

He has the most beautiful songs, and tracks like ‘Rainy Summer’ for example tug on the heartstrings. There’s a real depth and heart to this evening's set, a real star in the making. What we can’t help but notice though is that Huw’s backing band is made up of both Sweet Baboo and Cate Le Bon herself, turning tonight in to a real family affair.

With a very short break we find ourselves being hustled back into this beautiful venue as Cate Le Bon takes to that stage. Opening up with the fabulous ‘No God,’ the darkened stage and the black clad band adding to the atmosphere. Highlighting an apparent interest in choreographed dance moves, Cate struts around the stage making her presence truly felt.

That is the striking thing about Le Bon is the way she commands the stage, the beauty of her songs shines through but so too does her impressive presence. One track, which really stands out head and shoulders above the others, is ‘I Can’t Help You.’ The paisley influence to it is absolutely brilliant. piquing our interest from its opening chords.

Her beautiful delivery adds to the delicacy of the lyrics, and there’s something truly captivating about her performance. We’re entranced by this set, especially when Cate delivers the big guns in the form of a rousing rendition of ‘Wild’. The earlier delicacy is thrown out of the window, replaced by something altogether different.

We’re blown away by the change in tempo it’s a garage rock behemoth that takes us by surprise. Cate is taking the opportunity to show all of her facets, moving effortlessly from this highly energetic track to the much more chilled out ‘The Man I Wanted' in what's a restoration of the earlier beauty, and if anything this is slightly more relaxed. It is safe to say this evening is something of a roller coaster.

Cate seems convinced that she sounds sarcastic because of her accent, but we believe her and we’re sure she was truly enjoying herself this evening. She closes out with the brilliant ‘Fold The Cloth,’ the track possess so many of this evenings elements. There's the screeching guitars and delicate vocals; the perfect culmination to this evening's main set.

Returning to the stage, Le Bon treats us to a cover of Thin Lizzy’s iconic ‘Wild One,’ there couldn’t be a better way to end this evening as Cate puts her own spin on this classic track. We cannot help but swoon over the beauty this evening held, Cate has captured both our hearts and minds with her stage presence, and at times, ear splitting volume.

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