At Nemix Studios, Newcastle, U.K., April 20, 2018

HALLAS (Live at Nemix Studios, Newcastle, U.K., April 20, 2018)
Photo: Mick Burgess

It doesn’t seem that long ago that people were bemoaning the fact that no one ever comes to Newcastle. More recently the likes of the Think Tank, the Riverside and Jumpin’ Jacks have added to The Cluny, Trillians and the O2 Academy to provide a range of venues to suit bands of all statures. Now Nemix Studios, a stone’s throw from the Discovery Museum, has pitched in with a rather fine rehearsal room/venue for bands just starting out on their live career or more established bands making tentative steps into new territories.

Local promoter Byker Grave have pulled off something of a coup bringing Sweden’s Hallas over for their first ever UK show and it was pleasing to see the venue full to give them a warm Geordie welcome.

With a set based mainly on their debut release, Excerpts From A Future Past, a flurry of six string activity heralded The Astral Steer with its retro feel bringing a familiarity to the music with a distinct hint of Wishbone Ash’s twin guitar harmonies with bassist/vocalist Tommy Alexandersson bringing the rich, mellow tones of Asia’s John Wetton to mind.

Repentance is even better with the opening guitar melody evoking Mark Knopfler at his best all underpinned by some prime-time Hammond organ from Nicklas Malmqvist.

Dressed in sparkly capes and glitter eye make-up, Hallas may look like Sweet’s younger brothers but they nail their Prog Rock credentials to the mast with the epic, Hammond organ powered, Shadow of The Templar.

Star Rider with its hypnotic beat, swirling synths and uplifting hook, combined with some superb guitar harmonies showed a more direct approach that may well draw in the more casual listener and showing Hallas may well have the dynamics and versatility to be in it for the long haul.

Review and Photos By Mick 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.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.