Smiles abounded on and off-stage at The Cluny for the triumphant homecoming for Geordie. Still featuring founder members bassist Tom Hill and drummer Brian Gibson, the two reminded us right from the off what a ‘proper’ classic rock rhythm section is all about; sturdy, no-messing. And in their case, clearly much underestimated over these many years, as any of you who witnessed Geordie’s magnificent Giants of Rock set earlier this year would attest.
New frontman, Yorkshireman Mark Wright asserted himself with the packed er, Geordie crowd with his amiable banter and tonsil-shredding vocals, tackling songs from across the bands career – sounding uncannily at times like the bastard long-lost brother of Rob Halford and Noddy Holder. Not that he couldn’t handle the less frantic stuff mind you – as the ballad ‘Oh Lord’ for one impressed – and dedicated to his Dad who couldn’t attend the show; bless ‘im.
Unbelievably loud, the sound was nonetheless crisp; everything coming through crystal clear – guitarist Steve Dawson mightily impressive with those deceptively tricksy riffs originated by the bands’ founder guitarist/composer Vic Malcolm and as equally impressive as any you could mention in the classic rock canon, along with some consistently exciting lead breaks.
From the Geordie line-up post-chart hits period, title track from the Neat Records ‘No Sweat’ album was one of several personal favourites, which along with ‘We Rock’, ‘Hope You Like It’ and ‘Keep On Rockin” presented some intriguing, potential riff-competition contenders between Angus and co. vs. Brian’s previous comrades.
The sucker punch came with a swift one-two encore of ‘Don’t Do That’ and ‘All Because Of You’ (singles chart Top 10 and Top 20 respectively in 1973) , followed by the classic ‘House of The Rising Sun’, the international Number One from The Animals, recorded for Geordie’s second album, ‘Don’t Be Fooled By The Name’.
There was no resting on laurels on this night. The set included new song. ‘Notre Dame’ a quality Mark Wright/Steve Dawson offering with wonderful light and shade that augurs well for the future – sitting perfectly in sync with their past. So this occasion served as their mission statement; Geordie are heavy, vital and NOW. Proving that, not only are the lads back in Toon – but they are back with a vengeance.
Special mention to the nights’ opener – rising guitarist Jack Mylchreest, who impressed many with some choice and imaginatively arranged acoustic covers plus tracks from his current ‘Pushing The Limit’ EP including the Stevie Wonder ‘Superstition’-styled ‘Lay Your Love’.
And no-one mentioned Mrs Johnson’s lad.
Review by Ian Wood
Photo by David Wilson
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