This was my third time at Hit the North and it’s always one of the best weekends for live music in the North East. If not, the best.
Including the opening parties, it lasts two days and is full of different bands and artists showcasing their talent from around the world.
Live music is my favourite way to spend my free time and I love being able to discover new artists, and Hit the North is the perfect opportunity to do just that. One wristband gets you into multiple venues throughout the city and you can explore as many or as little gigs as you’d like to.
Securing huge headliners such as Jake Bugg, Tom Brennan and Shame, Hit the North really knew how to throw a party. The hardest part of the day is choosing who to see, as there’ll inevitably be a clash between a few people you’d like to see. This year, I was undoubtedly most excited about Halfnoise, being a fan since 2013 and not having an opportunity to see them.
Firstly though, we checked out Kawala, a band I’ve not stopped listening to since I saw them. I’d heard of them before and maybe heard the odd song, but never really noticed them. My friend said we must go, so it was our first stop at the O2 Academy 2.
Kawala were started by Jim (vocals) and Dan (acoustic guitar, vocals), whilst studying in Leeds. Now compromising of a bull band, Kawala are inspired by Bombay Bicycle Club and Half Moon Run. Bouncy, indie-folk tunes that you find yourself bopping about to. I really enjoyed them live and just know they’ll totally take over the indie scene soon. Their single ‘Do It Like You Do’ has already amassed 6 million plays on Spotify, and I’m ready to see them again at This Is Tomorrow festival!
Next up were local lads A Festival, A Parade at the Boilershop. It’s been years since I saw them but they were as good as I remember. AFAP are currently on tour with Sam Fender, and took some time out to do a gig back home. The four piece really know how to do alt-rock right, and songs such as ‘Sex Dream’ build such lush musical tension, they are a pleasure to listen to.
HalfNoise is the musical project of musician Zac Farro and was formed in 2010 after his departure from Paramore as their longstanding member and drummer. Farro is the lead vocals and mastermind behind all of the tracks, but has touring members to accompany him. HalfNoise are described as ‘weaves of surf-rock’s friendly intimacy with the broad, borderless horizons of psychedelia’ and were the third band I caught.
Playing at Think Tank?, Halfnoise exploded on stage with their tracks such as ‘Scooby’s In The Back’, ‘Sudden Feeling’ and their new single, ‘Who Could You Be’. By far my favourite act of the day, it was a real treat to get to see one of my favourite artists along with so many others. Half an hour was not long enough a set for HalfNoise, I do wish they could have played a little longer but alas it was incredible and I highly suggest checking them out on Spotify.
The last gig of the day for me was Ten Tonnes, aka Ethan Barnett, at the O2 Academy 2. This was the second time I’d seen Ten Tonnes, supporting his older brother George Ezra at the o2 Academy in November 2018. With his debut self titled album just out, Ten Tonnes filled out the room and the gig was quite literally, bouncing. With breezy tunes such as ‘Better Than Me’ and ‘G.I.V.E’ and the harder rock songs like ‘Couting Down’ and ‘Nights In, Nights Out’, Ten Tonnes is set to have a huge career. Rightly so too, as he totally killed his short but sweet set. I’ll be waiting for the next Newcastle gig, we needed something a little longer!
As always, Hit the North is a total credit to Newcastle and really showcases some incredible local talent and brings some well-loved musicians to the area. 10/10. Make sure you don’t miss out next year.
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Disclosure: All Reviews have been provided by gifted opportunities or press access offered to us in return for an open and honest review. All reviews are subject to the opinion of the reviewer.
REVIEWED BY KATIE MEEHAN OF http://katiemeehan.co.uk/
READ OUR MORE COVERAGE FROM CARMICHAEL WHO ALSO ATTENDED HIT THE NORTH http://innewcastle.co.uk/hit-the-north-festival-carmichael/
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✖️ HIT THE NORTH FESTIVAL 2020
📍 Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
📆 Sunday 3rd May 2020
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