At The Cluny, Newcastle, U.K., June 6, 2019

FLAMIN' GROOVIES (Live at The Cluny, Newcastle, U.K., June 6, 2019)
Photo: Mick Burgess

While the Spice Girls were Zig-a-Zig-Ahhhing across the region at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light something far more historic was taking place over in Newcastle with the Godfathers of Power Pop, the Flamin’ Groovies, making their first appearance in Newcastle in what seems a lifetime.

The fact that this tour went ahead is in itself something of a miracle as lead singer Roy Loney was hospitalised after a fall in San Francisco airport on the way to the UK but following the tried and tested mantra of “the show must go on”, the remaining Groovies decided to continue as a four-piece much to the relief of their rabidly enthusiastic cult following.

Shake Some Action, described by many critics as the greatest slice of Power Pop ever committed to vinyl, was a bold opening statement. Imagine the glorious melodies of The Beatles and the shimmering harmonies of the Byrds all wrapped up in gut punching guitars turned up to eleven and you’ll not be far off the mark.

Originally formed in the late 60s their proto Punk Rock’n’Roll of the Roy Loney era morphed into the Power Pop style of the Chris Wilson years that went on to influence the likes of Cheap Trick, The Dictators and Blondie and every other band that sang a Pop tune with the guitars turned up super loud.

Original guitarist Cyril Jordan handled the bulk of the lead vocals on the more breezy Don’t Put Me On and First Plane Home while guitarist Chris Von Sneidern took the tougher edged, slide guitar fuelled High Flyin’ Baby and drummer Tony Sales the Rock ‘n’ Roll romp of Have You Seen My Baby with the wonderfully named bassist, Atom Ellis, providing backing vocals throughout.

The menacing driving groove of Teenage Head and the classic Slow Death brought the show that almost didn’t happen and thank goodness it did, to a riotous end.

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.

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