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Newcastle isn’t short of live acts to go and see, with some fantastic venues and diverse genres, it can be hard to choose and know what can be worth going to, or what might be your thing. Andrew Combs is an American country and folk musician who currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee. On his current UK Tour, I was lucky enough to catch Andrew and his good friend, Charlie Whitten, play at the Cluny 2. 

It’s really rare that I leave a gig, wanting to rush home and instantly play back all of the songs from a musician I’d never heard before, but Andrew and Charlie both blew me away. Over the past few years, I have grown increasingly fond of folk as a genre and I am so glad I have found two new artists I know I will listen to for years to come. 

Charlie Whitten is currently touring with Andrew Combs, and it seems they are two very close friends. I have to admit, for me, Whitten totally stole the show. Reminding me a lot of Simon and Garfunkel, I quickly got lost in the music and forgot I was surrounded by about a hundred other people. I’ve not stopped listening to him since. From soft, soothing songs like ‘Balance’ to a more upbeat, foot tapping ‘Since She’s Gone’, Charlie’s musical influences and talent is evident. Charlie states that the ‘60s and ‘70s are big influences to him, and as a big fan of Nick Drake, Pink Floyd, and Paul Simon, I can completely see why I have become so fond of his music. He has such great taste as well as producing phenomenal music. I just hope I get to catch him again soon and I regret not hanging around for a chat. 

The Cluny 2 was the perfect venue for Andrew Combs, packed to the brim but intricate enough that his lyrics still packed a punch, and his raspy voice filling the room. Combs’ chatted about environmental issues while introducing ‘Dirty Rain’, a song about bringing up his young daughter in a world that is so full of pollution. ‘Blood Hunters’ is another strong song by Combs, with a grungier feel and heavier guitars, and is about losing your mind. Combs’ set was captivating, beautiful and inspiring. It reminded me of why I love music so much, and why it’s so important to take a chance on someone you’ve not heard of before. 

I know it’s early in the year, and I have a lot of musicians to go and see this year, but I just know that this gig is going to be in the top 10 for me. It was absolutely phenomenal and I am totally blown away by the talent of both Andrew Combs and Charlie Whitten. If you’re looking for some music to chill to, or relate to, definitely check them both out. 

Charlie’s Spotify here: 

Andrew’s Spotify: 

Review by Katie Meehan

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