For several years now, the North-East has been crying out for a major festival that takes the region by storm and brings some of the world’s finest to the area. This year’s This Is Tomorrow promised to do exactly that, with a stellar lineup including FOALS, Stereophonics and God himself, Noel Gallagher. We were lucky enough to be able to attend both the Saturday and Sunday and by the sounds of it, missed a stinker of an end to the Friday evening which I won’t hark on about. Our review covers the top artists we saw each day outside of the big boys and I can categorically say, we had a fantastic time and we hope this festival sticks around for a long time to come!

H2N Live: HHHHH Unreal HHHH Excellent HHH Great HH Met Expectations Poor

Saturday

One of the things you often find with new festivals and big open spaces, is that they have underdone the sound capacity and the stages just don’t pack the punch of the bigger festivals that have honed their sound craft down the years. The impressive thing about TIT2019, was that they seemed to have nailed the sound right from the start, and across all three stages.

First up for us was Inhaler (HHH) on the second stage who I was intrigued to watch as they are supporting Courteeners at their June warm-up show. Having not listened to any of their music ahead of the show, I was pleasantly surprised when the band began pumping out some great tunes including new single My Honest Face, which provided the set highlight. For a band first on with a mid-size crowd, they had energy and performed as if on the main stage. Their rock ‘n’ roll sound was fresh and certainly didn’t follow the status quo of current upcoming indie music. More Joy Division than Catfish, the band were a throwback to the 90s whilst having a current edge making them a real pleasure to watch. Bring on June 11th!

RedFaces (HHH) were up next and as always with a RedFaces set, impressed. Annoyingly they skipped out their best song, in our opinion, right at the last minute, Messed Up Feeling, but the guys sang a barrage of new and old tracks that made for an entertaining main stage set. Every time we see them they become more comfortable on these big stages and now it’s time for them to take the leap, up their game and get into the big leagues. Could be a big year for these guys and making a splash with some new music could really send them on their way.

One of the most relaxing, fun and casual sets of the weekend came from Lauran Hibberd (HHH) who we had never heard of prior to the festival. With two single releases already this year, the Isle of Wight raised singer is seemingly a growing artist who blends fuzzy rock, with dreamy pop vocals to create something I can safely say I’ve not heard before. With the likes of Zuzu having the year she is, this genre of music could be on its way to the charts and we back Lauran to be one of the leading figures based on her performance (despite the shitty weather!)

The band of the day title, as with Live At Leeds at the start of the month, belonged without a doubt to Scottish fourpiece The Snuts (HHHHH). Fresh from the release of All Your Friends (read our review here) just the day before, the guys were on top form and delivered the set of the weekend rifling through their catalogue of bangers from Seasons to Sing For Your Supper. Somehow this band go from strength to strength with every passing moment and I am running out of superlatives to describe them, their music and their live performance. It’s exciting to see a band to fresh with new ideas and new ways of creating music; this could be the year of The Snuts and the way in which the crowd reacted from minute one shows they’ve got the following their to grow and become something special in the next six months.

A great day was topped off by some huge main stage performances by The Vaccines and NGHFB and we were thoroughly impressed with the festival. The talks of the Friday night shocker had well and truly gone and the bad weather dampened nobodies spirits, such was the quality of the day.

Sunday

There was no better way to kick off a bright Sunday afternoon that watching one of the most exciting artists on the circuit this year. With a debut album released the week post-festival, Yonaka (HHHH) were on fire and smashed their set to open the day in style. Lose Our Heads being the highlight, Theresa Jarvis was on point vocally and the band have honed their live show now to be something of a spectacle to watch. We were lucky enough to catch them again on tour so look out for a full live review of that show in Leeds!

Para Alta (HHH) seem to be a band we cannot get away from so far this year. The third time in less than 7 weeks we’ve watched the north-east four-piece, they continue to build on their well honed set and never fail to impress. When you see a similar set so many times in a close period though, some of the edge can be lost so whilst it was, as ever, a perfect rendition of their tracks, I am ready for them to start filtering in some new bits and really trying to kick on and become a real artist of themselves. They’re smooth, have a great local following and were the best band of the weekend on the Introducing stage by far.

Before closing the weekend on the main stage with Stereophonics and Embrace, it was the turn of the energetic The Lafontaines (HHHH) to impress. Playing to a solid crowd, the Scots took on the challenge of playing the evening, teatime slot, never easy at an outdoor festival. We first saw these boys supporting Deaf Havana in Manchester and I can honestly say I’ve never seen such confidence and energy in any three-piece down the years. With two huge singles, Alpha and All In behind them this year already and a huge tour on the horizon, this band seem to be going from strength to strength proving that genre is as irrelevant as ever and making a quality noise with a high energy performance is what the masses want.

The weekend was a major success – great location, fantastic planning over the two days we attended and we sincerely hope the event continues long into the future!

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