Hit The North: Live Review, Circa Waves + Sunset Sons

Hit the North festival is taking part over this bank holiday weekend in venues across Newcastle. Last night, there were three incredible opening parties for weekend ticket holders to access including Jungle at the Boiler Shop and Drenge on their big comeback tour at Riverside. Being huge fans of Circa Waves though, it was a no brainer for us that we head to the O2 Academy to kick off our weekend.

Whilst we missed opening act Vistas due to some poor travel planning (sorry guys), we arrived in time to see one of our favourite acts from the festival circuit in 2016, Sunset Sons (HHH) return to the live stage. Opening with Blondie, the band didn’t look like a band who had been away for a while. They had style and power and they sounded tighter than they ever have before. Treating us to a couple of new songs on their upcoming EP River the band rattled through a frantic set of hits, closing with the wonderful On The Road. A fine choice to be main support to one of the most energetic bands in the UK.

Then it was time for the main act and the staff at the O2 Academy wasted no time getting the stage set and the band out in time to do a full length set. Although Circa Waves (HHHHH) are known predominantly for their jingly indie tracks, they have a knack for making their live sets much heavier and for me, much more enjoyable. Not being a band I listen to much on track, I rarely know all of the lyrics in each song, but such is their songwriting ability, you can always pick up on the choruses pretty quickly.

I am always in awe of the Liverpool band when on the live stage. Their musical intricacies often go amiss by their indie adoring fans, but they are an outfit that are very musical, and very technical even when it sounds like four chord indie rock music. Wake Up and Get Away almost feel like they’ve been written as set openers because they are just perfect for getting the crowd going. On the night, vocalist Kieran Shudall was on point and clearly up for it having not been in Newcastle for a while.

Playing plenty of tracks from both of their albums, the band balanced their slower tracks with their energetic ones perfectly and by the time the set reached Fossils it was only massive hits from there. The show didn’t once lull, they didn’t put in a bathroom break filler track either so it made for very pleasant viewing. Goodbye and Fire That Burns are tracks that elevate their sound more than any others on the live stage, and watching them last night, if they continue on this hot song-writing streak, you can’t help but feel Circa Waves are one more record away from being one of Britain’s most acclaimed rock artists.

Hit The North continues today with Meet the North featuring Peace, Glasvegas and more – head to https://www.facebook.com/events/286506508527260/ for ticket information and to see the full lineup! 

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