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White Denim, Warehouse 34, Newcastle

  • Published in Live


For the second night running we find ourselves in the cavernous building that is Warehouse 34. This time, with completely different expectations, we arrive part way through Deathcrush’s set, an unknown prospect to us before this evening.

There seems to be an excessive amount of theatrics to cover a lack of musical talent. However, don’t get us wrong Deathcrush serve their purpose in warming up the crowd, but they’re just not to our taste. The simplistic tracks are relatively accessible but lack a great deal of musical talent.

White Denim, opening up with the awesomely trippy ‘Pretty Green,’ from new album Corsicana Lemonade proves a perfect start. They set the precedent with their high quality upbeat tracks early on, with title track ‘Corsicana Lemonade’ having a great Southern vibe that the crowd can’t help but dance to.

The band seem to hop around a variety of genres at first, ‘River To Consider’ providing another facet to this evening's set with a real Latin feel. To think that these are only first three songs and we’ve already covered a lot of musical ground in what can only be ten minutes is pretty impressive but having said that the band settles into their groove after this.

Playing tracks from across their back catalogue, those from the two latter albums D and Corsicana Lemonade are relied upon heavily. However, tracks like ‘I Start To Run’ still provoke huge crowd reaction. Fortunately the band haven’t deviated too far away from their original sound, and if anything, have just become consistently better.

The progression shows throughout the both the set and the band's sound as they blend tracks from Fits and Corsicana Lemonade. Those from the latter have a much crisper quality that really stands out, ‘At Night In Dreams’ is a true exponent of the bands growth. It not only provokes a massive crowd reaction, it also sounds amazing when put up against those earlier tracks that surround it in tonight’s set, making them look amateurish whilst ‘Drug’ is still a phenomenal track and live it really stands out.

White Denim cover an amazing amount of the musical landscape in a real short space of time. It’s a true pleasure to see a band with such a plethora of tracks of varying aesthetics, as opposed to just sticking to one monotonous sound. And this evening has proved yet again that this warehouse is an awesome place for phenomenal live music.

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Swans, Warehouse 34, Newcastle

  • Published in Live

There is an air of excitement filling this cavernous warehouse on the outskirts of Newcastle this evening as it presents us with a rare yet intriguing prospect - the thought of one of the world’s loudest bands in such an underused space fills us with glee. Swans are currently taking their new album To Be Kind on a world tour; fortunately for us we have front row seats as these behemoths hit Newcastle.

We arrive as Jenny Hval takes to the stage, hunched over a plethora of electronic goodies yelping and wailing. Her performance is somewhere between electronic brilliance and eclectic weirdness at its best. However, this all seems supplementary, as we watch the dancing lights and the visuals being projected on to the exposed beams above us.

Jenny’s set passes over us though, the excitement too much, as we prepare for a sonic assault of epic proportions. Swans take to the stage very early, just after 8:30. They open with ‘Frankie M’, and the sound is unbelievable as we stand at the front, the sheer force of these monolithic beasts physically moves us as we cannot help but escape from the front for fear of our ears.

Michael Gira and his band serenade us with tracks from To Be Kind, the awesome ‘Just A Little Boy’ sounds absolutely unbelievable. Built on a solitary horn into something humongous, it’s like a wall of sound that no matter where you are it hits you full in the face. With signs up all over the venue directing the audience to the bar for earplugs, these make absolutely no difference as the incredible low frequencies still tear into you.

‘The Apostate’ from album The Seer, provokes a similar reaction, this time built on a solitary slide guitar to begin with. It builds as members of the band add their individual parts, until this cacophonous sound reaches its full force, shaking the building with its machine gun-like power. By this point we’re pinned to back of the venue soaking up the sonic delights on offer.

They close fittingly with the awesome ‘Bring The Sun’, a track that takes almost no time at all to build to an instant hit of sheer power, before slowing and allowing Michael’s vocals to serenade us. ‘Bring The Sun’ closes out again with another hit of sheer power, once more shaking us to our cores before the band disappear.

They leave us filled with awe and amazement as to what has just happened, it's safe to say Swans truly took our breath away this evening, in more ways than one. An amazing experience; the heat, the sound and the excitement, nothing can beat this feeling and it's an experience we’re unlikely to see repeated until Swans' inevitable return.

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