North of the Borderline....
Polkadodge, The Princess Alice, Middlesbrough
If you ever find yourself in Middlesbrough on a Friday evening and you like proper, actual music rather than the Jason Delooroll shite that emanates from trendy wine bars, you should head for the Princess Alice for their regular Friday event, Route 69. My last
time here was a few weeks ago when I reviewed Shoot The Poet, bloody brilliant they were too. Grassroute are a team with seriously good taste in music - and they did it again with this line-up. Stood on my own, so drinking cider FAR too quickly, this is what I remember;
Young, smiley, talented and sounding fresh as f*ck, Mouses were the first band I saw at this year's Stockton Calling and one that immediately went on my list to see again. A mixture of sharp drumbeats, catchy riffs and fuzzy vocals, songs like Hollywood (with a bit of Fleetwood Mac's Dreams thrown in the middle - great mix), Poison and Algebra are thrown out with boundless energy and endearing enthusiasm. The kind of music that gets you up and dancing, or at least foot tapping with your 'intense music face' on if you're too cool or uncoordinated to dance. Last song Psycho has a pretty cool video that's just ben released, added below for your viewing pleasure. If you like that, download their debut EP for free here, give them a shout on Twitter or Facebook and jump on board before their popularity skyrockets.
I'm starting to sound like a broken record about The Purnells since I've seen them so bloody much since that infamous night on the Endeavour last November. However, they don't disappoint. A mix of bass-heavy, bluesy tunes and a unique, theatrical performance makes The Purnells one of Teesside's most popular bands. They stormed Stockton Weekender last year and are set to do so again this weekend, plus plans for their third album are starting to take shape - a taster of which was heard with the debut of a new track, the upbeat and rocky Rise Above. If you've not seen them before you're in for a treat. Again they can be found on Facebook and Twitter. From their first album Resurrection Men, here's Nameless;
The Twisted Dolls
Hailing from Manchester (with a bit of Middlesbrough thrown in), The Twisted Dolls have a real retro twang to them, a big, ballsy Hendrix-type vibe that enhances their bluesy indie rocking. Frontman Luke is all messy-haired and skinny-jeaned with a Bolan swagger, while bassist Jimi and drummer Tom chuck catchy rhythms and rumbling bass at you at a rate of knots. Opening with Midnight Train, one of the outstanding tracks on the CD I managed to grab a copy of from Tom's rather fetching man bag (cheers!), their nine-song set drew an appreciative crowd of all ages, one of the highlights for me being the epic, heavy and soulful single War Child, with it's gritty, T-Rexy sound and coolly drawled vocals. The cover of Fell In Love With A Girl was unexpected and brilliantly done, and slotted in perfectly to a tight, bang-on-the-money set. It's hard to believe that this is a relatively new band, less than a year old but with the potential to go far with their genuine talent and unique sound.