Photos and Words by Steve White
Ferriday Fireballs open tonight’s proceedings in Cluny2, a small, hot, dark basement beneath the main Newcastle Cluny and the perfect setting for what turns out to be a certain top five gig of the year.
Ferriday Fireballs play a set of no-nonsense, foot tapping, old school rock n roll with a real raw edge. A rhythm guitar, two drums, some brilliant slide guitar and the vocal tones of Brian Atkinson, the North-East three piece power through an 8/9 song set drawing influences from the early 1950’s, when Bill Haley brought proper rock n roll to the masses, right through to garage sleaze with a cover of Iggy’s ‘1970’.
And whilst most of it is good time, get off your arse and bop to the infectious beat Ferriday Fireballs can also croon, but in the darkest possible way, A Man Beyond Repair proving this point perfectly.
His Lordship consist of guitarist James Walbourne (formerly of, amongst others, The Pretenders and The Pogues), drummer Kristoffer Stone (Chrissie Hynde’s band) and are joined on this, their first proper tour, by Dave Page on bass. Hitting the stage and introducing themselves with the grinding, garage rock n roll of ‘All Cranked Up’, the title track from recently released 6 track EP, from this moment you understand completely that this is going to be one of those special “I was there” gigs. His Lordship play a set of scorching rock n roll. Mix up the rawest parts of The Cramps, a little Elvis swagger, the best parts from the originals of the 50’s and a constant full throttle attitude and you’ll begin to get the gist of His Lordship. Walbourne doesn’t let up.
He’s all over the place knocking out gnawing guitar riffs whilst yelling through vocals seething with venom. Backed by frantic drumming and manic bass rhythms the whole set is a masterclass in how to deliver a perfect rock n roll concert. There’s instrument swaps with Page taking over the drums and Stone sharing vocal duties whilst standing on the lip of a drum, shuffling dance moves, microphones in mouths, sweat dripping. Slick and polished it isn’t. This is in your face, wild, dirty, uncontrolled and there really isn’t any give as they power through I Live In The City, I’m So Bored Of Being Bored and Buzzkill. ‘Bored’ is a word that’ll never cross the lips of any punter at a gig like this. Sleepwalk, a dreamy, sonically charged, late night under the moonlit sky instrumental provides a few minutes relief from the explosive energy, as does The Repenter and a superb version of The Way I Walk, but the rest period doesn’t last as the incandescent, furious energy returns for closing numbers Joy Boy, Cat Call and I Am In Amsterdam.
It’s all over in well under an hour but wow, what a show. For anyone who loves honest, wild, hot, sweaty, garage rock n roll His Lordship have to be on your must see list.