Doors for the Transit show at Think Tank in Newcastle are at 7pm, but I find myself getting in early to escape the miserable weather and being the first punter in an eerily empty venue. Half of the sparse crowd are wearing raincoats and huddling together/drinking to combat the cold, but as local supports Shades take to the stage, things start to heat up. Although the band’s inexperience as a live act is evident, the boys have some great music and are clearly well practiced; their set is tight and full of tunes like the catchy ‘Wilde Out For Wanderlust’ – definitely a band to keep an eye (and an ear) out for.
Crooks are being hyped up by bands and magazines alike; the five-piece, hailing from Cheltenham, have been continuously referred to as ‘a band to watch out for’. After seeing them live, it’s not hard to see why. The band refuse to start playing until everyone in the room (about 30 people or so, at this point) moves closer to the stage. When they play, it’s captivating. Their emo-tinged punk is evocative and vocalist Josh is a natural frontman (with an uncanny resemblance to a tattooed Tom Felton). The band’s set definitely seems to win over the crowd; the hype is more than justified, Crooks are going to be BIG.
Such Gold’s unique and melodic take on punk-rock is a joy to the ears. The band are a bunch of easy-going, chilled-out guys whose rapport with the crowd alone is enough to win over an audience of Geordies. Songs like ‘No Cab Fare’ and ‘Two Year Plan’ have a few impassioned fans climbing on stage and singing the words as loud as they can, but the majority of the crowd are happy to dance and nod approvingly.
Transit may have taken a break from these shores, but that just means they get an enthusiastic welcome back. Every word of every song, from set opener ‘The Only One’ off the band’s latest record ‘Joyride’, to the last song, an old favourite ‘Skipping Stone’, is sung back to vocalist Joe Boynton, who looks somewhat taken aback. The set is a good mix of songs from their back catalogue; it does feel much too short (damn the venue’s early curfew!) but with appearances at Slam Dunk Festival later this month, hopefully we’ll be seeing a lot more of the Boston quintet, real soon.
– Iqra Choudhry
Venue: Think Tank, Newcastle
Support Band: Such Gold, Crooks, Shades