at Trillians, Newcastle, U.K., July 6, 2023

EDDIE AND THE HOT RODS (Live at Trillians, Newcastle, U.K., July 6, 2023)
Photo: Mick Burgess

It takes a foolish band or one brimming with self confidence to start the opening night of a run of shows on a Thursday night – a notoriously difficult day on the gig circuit for even the biggest of bands. It was rather heartening therefore to see such a sizeable crowd congregate to celebrate the music of two of Post Punk/New Wave’s icons.

First up was Department S – who to some released the greatest single of all time in the form of the timeless “Is Vic There?” Of course they played it towards the end of the set inciting a mini riot down the front.

There was much more to the three piece though with oldies “Going Left Right” and “I Want” rubbing shoulders with more recent songs including “So Far Away” from the soon to be released album as well as When All Is Said and All Is Done from their 2016 release of the same name.

Guitarist/vocalist Phil Thompson handled the vocals of the much missed Vaughn Toulouse with respect as drummer Simon Bowley, on this first of two sets this evening, locked in tightly with bassist Mike Lea.

After two decades on the road backing original singer, Barrie Masters, in Eddie & The Hot Rods, it came as a shock when news of his passing in 2019 was announced. With Masters already considering retiring in the months prior to that, discussions had already been in place to continue the legacy of the band with bassist Dipster stepping up to the microphone.

With Covid putting everything on hold, the band decided to write new material and continue to keep those classic songs alive while also moving forward as a unit. The recent Guardians Of The Legacy does just that and this evening with no fewer than seven songs being aired they packed quite a hefty punch, particularly on the title track and “Shakedown.”

The mid-period was served well too with “Bad Time Again,” “Why Should I Care” and “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” from the pair of albums released in the mid-2000s on which the bulk of the band on stage tonight wrote and recorded.

Dipster made the step up from bassist to frontman with ease with the addition of Mic Stoner from Chords UK coming in on bass. Dipster was a natural, a total whirlwind of chaotic energy, bantering with the crowd and providing the main focal point for the night.

Guitarist Richard Holgarth provided the grit to the wheels while Simon Bowley on his second set of the night, found unknown reserves of energy from the cup of tea he was sipping throughout the evening.

The oldies, as always sounded great from “Teenage Depression” to “Quit This Town” and “Life On The Line” keeping the lively crowd pumping.

With the curfew fast approaching, Dipster’s jovial chat had meant a couple of songs had to be cut as there was no way they could leave without performing their smash hit “Do Anything You Wanna Do,” still sounding fresh and energetic 45 years on and with the rollicking “Gloria” closing the show with Dipster singing in the middle of the crowd.


  • 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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