Gin Annie, Statement and Paris Dancer – Trillians, Newcastle Upon Tyne 3rd February 2019

Hopefully you all still get that intense thrill of discovering great new bands and music that I do? I am amazed that each year I am continually blown away when a new band crosses my path that blows me away and I become truly obsessed and make every possible effort to catch them live at every possible opportunity. One such band in 2018 was the really wonderful boys from Gin Annie who, after hearing great things on the grapevine, were immense when I saw them at SOS Festival last summer. They were then announced as support to Graham Bonnet’s UK tour so off I went to again see them wow me live. So when they announced a UK tour to coincide with the release of their first album, “100% Proof”, I was on it like a … erm … Bonnet (sorry). I also knew that I was going have another fine night of rock n roll fun and games in Newcastle. What I couldn’t have expected was how great a night it would be.

Starting with the rather wonderful, and friends of Rock-Zone UK since we first caught them live a couple of years ago, Paris Dancer . Although missing one of the band due to prior commitments, the local heroes got the small but perfectly formed Trillians Newcastle crowd in the mood. Whatever, frontman Norman said about missing the lyrics police (see Karen, you were missed), the set was top notch and also gave them chance to showcase some of the new songs they have being working on recently. Each time I see them the sound develops getting stronger and just a little heavier. Fantastic!

Gin Annie UK (hot on the heels of the release of their first album) brought the party as they always do and played an absolutely storming set. They must be relieved to have got the album out and the trials and tribulations of the European tour that never was, with Diamond Head, was firmly put behind them – good times to be had by all when David, Byron, Phill, Jack and Brian are in town.

That said, whilst in Europe they met and became friends with Statement DK and thank the Gods of Rock & Roll that they did … what a band. Perfectly blending hard and heavy with classic elements and melody. Phenomenal and I had to buy their forthcoming new abum “Force of Life”, but check out their first two releases you will not be disappointed/ All I can say is, Statement have become the first of my new, favourite bands of 2019 – each day has me listening to their albums on repeat and I cannot wait for the next time I get chance to see them again. Too many highlights to nail down all of the songs (to be honest I loved all of them) but being the sucker for a cover version that I am, their version of “California Dreaming” really was top class. Without doubt a great piece of song writing, the Mamas and Papas original was never a favourite of mine but the way the Danes do it blew me away. That’s how you do a cover, take something that is outside your band’s genre and make it truly your own. Their show certainly made me glad that I always aim to catch every band on the bill because, and I guarantee you, you will find at least one new band that will win your heart and soul.

As for Gin Annie, what can I say? High energy, great songs and such a brilliant crowd rapport that it absolutely no surprise that they are winning new friends every day. Showcasing the new record along with songs from previous EPs they are one of those bands who work really hard to ensure the crowd has a great time, whilst making it look like they are having just as much fun doing it. Top songs, top sounds – again, just buy the album – you know it makes sense.

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