Feature: The State Of The North East ‘Scene’

Looking at the crop of new British talent in what is, essentially, rock bands, across the land, there’s some real gems hidden away in there; where were You Me At Six all but three years ago? Playing to a handful of people in local bars night after night in their native Surrey.

The same goes for the Welsh vallies, which have spawned the likes of Attack! Attack!, Kids In Glass Houses, Save Your Breath, and such, in recent years. Every area in the UK seems to have a real promise coming from them, in the form of one band or another. Brighton these days, is somewhat of a haven for rock, punk and metal bands, with acts like The Ghost Of A Thousand, Johnny Truant, and The Crave among others to come from the seaside town.

But getting really local, there is one place that in my honest opinion, really lacks in new talent in rock, pop punk, metal, punk, you guessed it, the North East.

Newcastle, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, not a band worth a mention has risen from it’s dwellings since indie rockers The Futureheads a good few years ago, and are they really worth a mention?

These days, the North East is littered with what is essentially the same whiny, drivelling pop-punk band, who, let’s be honest, aren’t going to be able to keep playing like they are for a living. They’re all fringes, they all mimic an American accent, and for what? Maybe they might not be as cringeworthy as they are currently if they tried it naturally, without a “look”, without a faux accent, granted, there are some upcoming bands who can really get away with an “image”, looking in London disco-punkers My Passion‘s direction, or even with a slight accent, again returning to the capital, a la Go:Audio, but it doesn’t work when the majority of your vocabulary consists of phrases like “Wey Aye”, “Canny Mint” and “Howay”.

Off the top of my head, there are at least three truly special talents in one block area; Wales has the likes of SaidMike, Attack! Attack!, Save Your Breath; Scotland has Flood Of Red, Biffy-esque rockers Twin Atlantic, the double-edged screamo-sword that is Yashin, and even York has spawned pop-metallers Glamour Of The Kill, Elliot Minor to boot, and a quaint little band I happened to stumble upon, and I will make an example of, a band called With One Last Breath. What they do, (essentially a Bullet For My Valentine-ish metalcore) they have been doing for only around a year. But listening to them, you feel a sense of excitement, a real power, their songs are slick, they’re a prime example of what a band should sound like who are going to be going places, making tracks that stand up many more experienced bands. If you haven’t checked them out, go and do it right now, and then keep reading.

Back to business, Sheffield has given birth to the brilliantly psychotic Rolo Tomassi in recent years, as well as scene metal outfit Bring Me The Horizon; even the capital is churning out it’s brilliant fair share, with the aforementioned My Passion and Go:Audio, as well as piano-driven pop-rockers Paige; a band that almost refuse to stop touring these days, getting their sole EP across to the entire nation.

The likes of the south west are dominated by death-metallers Trigger The Bloodshed, and St. Albans synth-poppers Saving Aimee and hardcore outfit Your Demise, while the north is home to bands like the newly formed Summerlin from Leeds, who with their new EP just being released by the time you read this, will be on to really big things in their future months, they’re such a tight live act, and brilliant on record, and Blackpool popcore outfit Me vs Hero, who should be five-times bigger than they are now, the sheer energy that goes into each show they play.

My point is, there is so much more brilliant talent emerging from basically every other territory, but the North East, once home to a handful of real talents, is slowly lagging behind, and doesn’t look to be stopping any time soon. While it’s not all bad, Sunderland is gathering momentum with metalcore-mob The Casino Brawl stepping out for nationwide tours at the drop of a hat, and releasing their new album very soon. They’re an exciting live band, and do the North East proud.

Another band I’d like to point out, is a relatively unknown Newcastle band that go by the name of Castro. Popcore-y in nature, sounding similar to the aforementioned Me vs Hero, those who have had a chance to see them perform live, (which unfortunately, is only but the odd time, as they’re a very local band) would agree they’re a solid live band with a great, catchy bunch of tunes. The sad thing is, the way they’re going, and the direction of the trend of bands and where they come from is going, the chances are they won’t get any bigger than they are now, and their wonderful music will not be exposed to the rest of the UK.

North East bands, I feel, should really step up their act, look at every other British area, look at the utter brilliance emerging from within, and aspire to be better, than that. Anything is possible, let’s see the North East ditch the stupidity, and get right up there with the best of them!

George.

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4 Responses to Feature: The State Of The North East ‘Scene’

  1. Holly says:

    Well, I wouldn’t call those bands you’ve listed ‘utter brilliance’.

  2. Nellie says:

    I concur. Elliot minor are wank. “Wey Aye”, “Canny Mint” and “Howay” = what?

  3. Holly says:

    It’s the only way us geordies converse, we don’t use real words.

  4. Nellie says:

    I see, we’ll have to have a translator help us out then Holsoir.

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