Evo Emerging kicked off at The Cumberland Arms with Chester le Street’s answer to Mumford and Sons – the much hyped Crooked Hands. Accompanied by new guitarist Tom Booth and the rest of the four piece band, front man Chris Brown led a spine tingling intro of harmony singing before launching into E.P. track ‘Waldridge Fells’. The ‘full band’ experience totally different from the recording – powerful, emotional stuff. New song ‘Eager Eyes’ was well received by a totally packed Cumberland Arms and that husky, caramel voice was again splendid for the awesome ‘Under’ at the end. What a start!
Sunderland’s Lilliput were up next with their jolly take on the alt folk thing. Maracas keeping the beat and a very happy, gnomish looking front man James Gilling belting out some of their well known tracks, including Little Wanderer – the crowd singing “I’ll take my time” in unison. For a band that have been together less than twelve months, the five piece looked calm and collected on stage and impressed the big crowd, many of whom I spoke to said they weren’t even planning to stay for the whole gig but found they couldn’t move once Lilliput started!
As soon as Lilliput left the stage however I was off. The great pilgrimage was underway, as flocks of Evo revellers descended on The Tyne Bar for what was perhaps the most eagerly anticipated band of the night – Newcastle’s Nataly’s Whore’s Kid Sister. Music videos with lead singer being hung, vitriolic rants about money, press shots with band covered in blood – these things could only partly prepare you for the onslaught of Nataly’s. Arriving on stage slightly later than expected, the five piece all donned balaclavas and launched straight into their blistering set. Highlights included ‘Just Below the Ribs’ and debut single ‘Fix My Corrections’. Aggressive, uncompromising and if I’m quite honest, totally terrifying!
After having our faces literally melted by Nataly’s it was then time for We Are Knuckle Dragger to smash them in. I spoke to front man Aran Glover before he went on and the excitable Irishman was, to be fair, totally pumped for the show and was speaking at a million words per second. This and the fact that we had been drinking for four hours meant that this writer didn’t recall the exact conversation other than something about a gig at The Newbridge Project in July….Anyway, in typical metal style Aron got on stage and shouted ooooaaarraghggg into the mike and we were off. All of the highlights off debut album, the Albini produced ‘Tit for Tat’ were played, included the awesome ‘Bad Wee Bastard’.
An epic night and hats off to organiser Generator for another fantastic mini-festival – roll on 2013!