The more eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted me having something of a moment about Wayward Sons at the tail end of 2017 when their debut album, “Ghosts of Yet to Come” hit the shelves (assuming of course that there are still shops with shelves for them to hit). I suppose a “bit of a moment” is something of an understatement but I’m not sure how to describe the effect the record had on me that involved playing on repeat for days (I kid you not, 6-8 hours on repeat!) and now, seven months later, I can still lose a day just listening to the one album. That is something that hasn’t happened for quite some time, I had the pleasure of seeing the band on both the tour with Inglorious and at Hard Rock Hell and live the impact of the songs was the same. Here was a band producing music that spoke straight to me, with lyrics that speak to me (not the 20-year-old me but the me now). Coupled with that was the enthusiasm of five guys making a grand old noise and having a ball on stage, I couldn’t wait for their first headline tour,
The “new” Riverside in Newcastle has a strange old history. Originally the fish market, then a mortuary now we have a great venue that is not too big, not too small in fact just right (said Goldilocks) – great stage, great sound, and tonight saw a crowd who were up for this and ready to take their active role in the performance. Toby informed the crowd that he’d been performing in Newcastle and area for 30 years, but that can’t be correct as that would make both him and me …. erm, nah, not possible. I could tell during my earlier interview (click here to have a listen Toby Interview 2018) that Toby was up for this, the passion was truly evident and tonight’s show would show this truly was the case.
We live in an era when the music business is changing, and so we shouldn’t be surprised to see new ideas all the time. This tour is a case in point as, instead of a couple of support bands, tonight was all about the Sons ao we had the quadrilogy/film series that accompanied the “singles” from the album run together and our Master of Ceremonies for the evening, Pete K Mally. The film idea was a different spin on thing – watching videos of songs that we will see live in a short while. I enjoyed it, and it was great to see all four run together box set stylee and now I need to sequence a YouTube playlist to do the same. Damn you Wayward Sons!
Pete K Mally is, amongst being a writer, director and other things (his latest book, “Resurrection Mill”, is out now), a stand up comedian who clearly live for rock and roll. His all to brief set tonight involved the unseeable likeness to Axel Rose to Linda Robson and a rather well observed line about the Costa Coffee logo. Catch him on the remaining dates of the tour – I know I want to see more and what a unique way of starting the show.
Very swiftly the strains of Johnny Cash heralded the arrival to the stage of The Wayward Sons and we were off. I don’t think I’ve ever had so much smoke to deal with when photographing a band but, by Jingo, the production was immense. With basically one album of material, those of us who love the album (and who shouldn’t?) were treated to track after track and the key here is that although the record catches perfectly the spirit and passion of the songs, live they truly come “Alive” (see what I did there?). Not just that, the set has a few surprises thrown in too. Now, as the tour is still in full flight (dates below), I do not want to be the one to spoil them for anybody. All I will say is they brought a massive grin to my face, and the crowd were clearly full of joy with them too. I will say that after the show Toby told me that one olf the surprises was something he had wanted to do for years but it had never happened – tonight proved to me his gut feeling had been correct all along.
Perhaps the most significant part of tonight for me was that this was not some massive nostalgia fest. This is a band that are playing songs for today, and sound like a band today. Sam Wood is one helluva guitar player, Dave Kemp is such an amazing musician, Nic Wastell (described earlier as like Flea on speed) and Phil Martini on drums secure a rhythm section that is so solid it is incredible. Of course, Toby still has every ounce of stage presence and charisma that was there before – now with added tales from the road and, as I said earlier, a passion to perform that is a joy to behold.
Whatever you do, if you can get to one of the remaining shows – do it. Tonight was one of the best shows I’ve seen (and I’ve seen a few). Even better, as you will see below, Darren was able to also shoot the (very sweaty) gig at Fibbers in York a couple of days earlier and his reports were the same. The band support Saxon later in the year and I am sure Toby mentioned another headline run later in 2018 too.
Plus, don’t forget that to coincide with the headline shows, Wayward Sons will be releasing a brand new single “Don’t Wanna Go”, taken from their debut album “Ghosts Of Yet To Come”, a vinyl picture disc edition of which is available to pre-order from the Wayward Sons merch store now – get there via http://www.waywardsonsband.com/
A little of the past? Nah, carry on my Wayward Sons, you rock
Sun 22nd April – Edinburgh, Mash House
Tue 24th April – Wolverhampton, Slade Rooms
Wed 25th April – London, Islington Academy 2
Thu 26th April – Bristol, The Fleece
Fri 27th April – Nottingham, Rock City Basement
Sun 29th April – Brighton, Sticky Mikes
Mon 30th April – Cardiff, Globe
Thu 18th October – Glasgow, Barrowland – support to Saxon
Fri 19th October – London, Roundhouse – support to Saxon
Sat 20th October – Portsmouth, Guildhall – support to Saxon
Sun 21st October – Manchester, Academy – support to Saxon
Tickets available through all usual outlets.
“Ghosts Of Yet To Come” is available now through Frontiers Music Srl.
Fibbers, York – Copyright 2018 Darren Thompson
Riverside, Newcastle Upon Tyne – Copyright 2018 David Wilson