At Trillians, Newcastle, U.K., July 18, 2017

MASSIVE (Live at Trillians, Newcastle, U.K., July 18, 2017)
Photo: Mick Burgess and Rebecca Burgess

For the princely sum of eight quid you get to see not one, not two but three up and coming bands on a Tuesday night. You can’t even get two pints of flat, warm beer for that these days so there were few grumbles as the crowd started to roll in for Tequila Mockingbyrd.

MASSIVE / BLACK CAT BONES / TEQUILA MOCKINGBYRD (Live at Trillians, Newcastle, U.K., July 18, 2017)

Everyone’s favourite Aussie all girl trio are no strangers to these shores having toured relentlessly with the likes of Richie Ramone and Bonafide in recent months not to mention a slot with Rainbow and Blue Oyster Cult at last month’s Stone Free festival. Their star is certainly in its ascendancy.

With Louise Baker joining on guitar/vocals and Jacinta Jaye on bass since their last appearance in Newcastle earlier this year leaving livewire drummer Josie O’Toole as the sole surviving member. While a line-up change could have easily disrupted the momentum, it has in fact upped their game with Baker’s powerful, melodic vocals giving them a real lift.

For a three piece they make a fair bit of noise, a veritable whirlwind of Punk fuelled hard Rock with a delicious sprinkling of Pop over the top and in Never Go Home and show closer I Smell Rock ‘n’ Roll have the songs to match. Not only do they have the songs but they have their own fragrance too which they sprayed liberally on the other bands later in the show.

Tequila Mockingbyrd were a whole load of fun and energy and certainly deserve the accolades flowing their way.

While Tequila Mockingbyrd are rapidly raising their profile, Black Cat Bones were something of an unknown quantity. That might be about to change. Coming across like a lethal cocktail of Appetite era Guns N’ Roses and Aerosmith, circa Rocks giving them something of a low down, dirty riff fuelled swagger with lead singer Johnny Hodson pulling all the Rock star moves and Axl poses replete with bandana.

Guitarists Alan Rimmer and Adam Kerbache, who surely has the finest head of hair ever seen in this humble venue, certainly laid down a few tasty riffs during Give You The World and No Secret, No Lies while the epic The River featured some decidedly sleazy harmonica and slide work. This was impressive stuff and certainly inspired a fair few punters to pick up a copy of their latest EP. Definitely one to watch out for in the near future.

Massive’s first ever show in the UK was in this very venue a couple of years ago, so it was something of a home coming for the genial Antipodean Rockers.

There must be something in the water down under as Australia seems able to produce no nonsense Rock ‘n’ Roll bands like nobody’s business and Massive live up to their heritage with pride.

Hollywood sets the tone and doesn’t let up all night. Lead singer and guitarist Bradd Marr commanding the stage and connecting closely with the crowd. One by One was immense, with its huge chant-a-long chorus, perfect for a show like this while Louise Baker joined on vocals during Best of Both Worlds which was a nice touch and a small taster of what was to come later.

Burn The Sun and Now Or Never were pure Aussie Rock ‘n’ Roll. No one slams their foot to the floor quite like them.

How could you possibly bring such a thrilling evening to an end in a grandstanding style? How about all band members from all three bands on stage together for a lively romp through AC/DC’s Highway To Hell. Chaotic for sure but a barrel load of fun and the perfect way to close the show.

Review by Mick Burgess

Photos by Mick Burgess and Rebecca Burgess


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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