After a day in Edinburgh at the Rip It Up exhibition and Bruce Findlay/Ian Rankin talk, the original plan was to take a coach over to Glasgow, mooch around for the day, maybe catch up wth one or two friends and take the train back to London late in the afternoon.
That all changed a couple of weeks back when I realised that Warm Digits were playing in Newcastle the day after my Edinburgh visit. “Would it be possible?” I wondered? “Newcastle can’t be too much of a journey from Edinburgh. Well, not compared to Luton!” But I initially dissuaded myself, thinking it all too much to organise, and considering the outlay, no matter how cheaply I could do it.
It played on my mind for a day or two. Finally it was the “carpe diem” of it all. My life has been so full of “what ifs” and “shouldas” that I shuddered at the thought of this being another.
It meant catching a train at Edinburgh Waverley station at 9.08am. I didn’t want to miss it, so got there in plenty of time. There was a Costa very nearby the station and I had time to spare, so downed a latte and a banana.
I hit Newcastle around 10.30am. I immediately went looking for the quayside area of the city to check out the Tyne and the bridges. It was such a glorious warm, sunny day, the first sights of the old Tyne “coathanger” bridge – the sister bridge to Sydney’s Harbour Bridge – really could have had me convinced I had somehow teleported to Australia.
I took a walk along the Tyne, crossed the Millennium bridge and took a seat and just enjoyed the view in the shade for a bit. I didn’t bank on seeing it AT ALL but while I was there I heard a klaxon go off a couple of times and I was thinking “ooh, is that a warning to exit the bridge as it’s about to tilt?” To let taller ships through, the bridge gets lifted up on a tilt. In the meantime, I’m checking my FB. Five minutes passed and when I look up again, the bridge had already tilted into place and was letting a small but tall mast boat through. I decided to catch it moving back into position by recording a Facebook Live update.
It really was quite warm and so I decided to move on, get my bearings, try and find the venue and see where I was at. Maybe see if I could find a park nearby, take a rest. I had very little sleep the night before. The hostel was fab. My room was great…but there was a party going on nearby with very loud music playing. It was too warm to shut the window to drown out the sound. I put my iPod on and tried to drown out the other music and chatter with my own music. The party was still going on at 3.30am. I had a fitful night, with only about 3 hours of quality sleep at best.
Once I had found The Cluny, I was reluctant to leave. It was a quiet, airy pub with a nice atmosphere. I could plug my phone into a socket and charge it and just chill and relax.
I wiled away a couple of hours Facebooking, people watching, chilling. After a couple of hours I ordered a late lunch. I had cheese on toast. I know! It doesn’t sound much, but it was delicious! Three slices of toasted baguette, with three different types of cheese on the slices, with a side serving of caramelised onion chutney and a side salad. It really was lovely! Absolutely had hit the spot!
Soon after, Steve arrived. I think he was a little surprised to see me there so early, but I was comfy. We had a quick chat before Steve got on with the job of unloading his equipment. Andy arrived shortly after. While chatting to Andy I had flippantly said “as such an ardent fan, I should be privy to a soundcheck”…really just joking and being cheeky. To my wonderment he said “yeah, why not! Of course you can. Come in. You can come and watch Steve stress out.” Lol. And so there I was, watching Warm Digits set up their kit and soundcheck. It was great.
A bit more time just chilling. Hearing Eat Lights, Become Lights and The Noise & The Naive soundcheck and really liking what I was hearing! Some ice cream and a pack of Maltesers to keep me going for the rest of the evening. A little break outside and it was doors open and me going in to take my place in readiness and anticipation.
The Noise & The Naive:
Wow! They were great! Tons of energy. Fast. Fab beats. Great drummer. The band comprise of Anne Langourieux on drums and vocals and Pauline Jacquey on guitar and BVs. They performed a short and tight set. The crowd loved them. I loved them! Possibly the best support act I have seen this year, if not ever. I know I said that of C.A.R and she really is great too, but these ladies were just on another level again for me. Warm Digits are really getting themselves some amazing support acts. I loved these ladies so much, I got a copy of their EP and a badge. Had I not had to watch the pennies so much, I’d have bought a shirt as well. I hope I can catch them somewhere again very soon.
You can check them out on bandcamp – just click on the LINK HERE to do so.
Eat Lights Become Lights:
After the fast punk thrash of The Noise & The Naive, we went a little more chill and atmospheric with Eat Lights Become Lights. A great style of “mood electronica”…a music to lose yourself in. I really enjoyed them too. Really wonderfully atmospheric. Tracks that build in pace and magnitude. I’d recommend checking them out too.
Eat Lights Become Lights – Bandcamp link
Finally, onto the main affair. I had waited all day for this! The boys started a bit late…and I was clock watching. I had booked a taxi to come get me and take me to my coach stop (yes…to keep costs down I was not staying overnight, but taking a red eye coach back to London overnight) at 11.15pm. By the time the boys started it was nearing 10.15.
They were giving it some on Friday night! Quite possibly the best I’ve seen them perform…even with Peter Brewis and Sarah Cracknell performing with them the night I saw them at The Lexington. They just sounded so great and, just wow! Killer versions of the tracks with vocals, and the sound levels were spot on. Fracking Blackpool rocked like fuck and the end Wireless World medley was bliss. By the time that was done, it was 11.10pm. I had to go! I couldn’t stay for encore. I was GUTTED!
But it was all worth it. The guys were thoroughly worth the detour and sleepless journey home. I would happily do it again. It was the reason I made the desicion to do it. I don’t know when I will get to see them again now, but I know I saw one of the best gigs ever on Friday night. All three acts were OUT OF THIS WORLD!
To Steve and Andy, thank you. Thank you for just being so great to me and making such fabulous music. You never make me feel unwelcome or bothersome. And Andy, I am really sorry if what I said to you earlier in the day made you change your shirt. I felt so guilty about that! 🙁
To all three acts. Thanks for making this just about the best gig of the year. And to The Cluny for being such a great venue with such a relaxing, fab atmosphere.
I hope Steve and Andy that I get to see you guys again in the not-too-distant future. Keep warm guys, xx.