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South Tyneside Festival - S Shields Amphitheatre

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There’s two things in life you can rely on; Aynsley & the band always giving a quality gig and the unreliability of the British Summer weather. With that in mind, Saturday’s open-air gig at South Shields’ Amphitheatre was bound to be a meeting of the unmoveable object and the unstoppable force.

Much of the sound check was given over to covering and securing the equipment under the threatening skies and brisk winds. Andre’s keyboard was still covered, Steve tried to do much the same with his amp and pedals, Aynsley was desperate for a hat but it was Boneto you had to feel for: he spent most of the time securing every piece of his kit to the riser; the cymbals were already acting like the blades of a Chinook helicopter and you couldn’t help but feel that if the wind picked-up any more, Boneto, the kit and the riser would end up anywhere between Sunderland and Stockholm. That should give a fair impression of the challenges some of us avoided from the shelter of Minchellas and a hot coffee..

The evening was due to be started by an acoustic Russ Tippins, but after the problems setting up and the likelihood of the weather adding rain to the problems, Russ generously demurred his set to let the band play as much as they could. Everything got away in fine form, the hardy folks of Shields who turned out were getting warmed up as the guys grooved though Sugar and Inside Out. They just got into Hyde 2612 and the first drops of rain hit causing an impromptu break, and a speedy cover-up and dive for shelter.

Fortunately; the squall wasn’t long lasting and it was soon back down to business with Tore Down and a thumping second half-set ending with the ubiquitous Purple Rain, for which the sun briefly showed it’s face. For that, and the endurance of a hardy crowd, the band came back for a deserved encore and a very hot & funky improv worked round James Brown’s Sex Machine. Such are the joys of performing at open-air festivals. The song of the evening though, I’m not sure if it was already in the set-list or whether it was included due to the weather, but it certainly summed it up – Hurricane.

On the flip-side, good to see that a number of folk did turn out to check out the band, as well as a good number of regulars, and also Bluebell who we haven’t seen out and about much lately. It also gave me an opportunity to catch up with a couple of old friends I haven’t seen in an embarrassingly long time, but I think will be at a few Aynsley shows in the future.

As an end note - the South Tyneside Festival runs throughout the summer with bands on at the Amphitheatre on Thursdays and Saturdays as well as matinee shows in July in neighbouring Bents Park, with a mix of bands to give a “something for everyone” feel - and they’re FREE!!!

     

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i think by the time I arrived late and did my network routine, that’s ‘talking’ to anyone who’ll listen think I caught 4 tunes lol I think i’ll be getting dragged back for Sophie Ellis bextor, The feeling and Billy Ocean later in the summer. But don’t tell anyone!

     
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Hey, don’t be disparaging about Sophie Ellis, I know she moved from the Indie to the Pop end of the spectrum, but it didn’t do Blondie any harm…. I’m quite looking forward to catching that gig, and seeing The Feeling again. I got taken to see them a while back, and have to admit, they’re a good band.

In case you didn’t know the connection, the bassist in The Feeling is Sophie Ellis’ hubby….

     

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Well, caught the Sophie Ellis / Feeling double-header last week-end, (main stage in Bent’s Park) and it was a great show; even had the power to divert the rainclouds for the afternoon.

A very noticeably pregnant Sophie just picked up the crowded park and danced their feet off at the end of her set. “Disco” may be a dirty word in some quarters, but when its done with this much class & panache it’s time for the most cynical of us to done the boogie-boots.

https://youtu.be/1DhswEULOPY

I’ve seen The Feeling before and was mightily impressed, but put the guys in “festival” mode and they really kick it up a notch or two. One of those bands, you don’t realise how many of their songs you know until you hear the hooks, and their “influences medley” is a great way to close a day’s gig.

Got to give a mention to their bassist Richard Jones; not only did The Feeling’s set, but backed the missus Sophie Ellis Bextor for her set - wonder if he sorted the tour-bus dilemma (the band’s or the missus’)?

Edit; - reports say that over 14,000 were in the park, and that at one point, they had to close the gates.

     

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The full line up for the 2016 Live Music at the Amphitheatre programme of events is:

Thursday 2 June - Bessie & The Zinc Buckets + King Size Voodoo Traveller

Saturday 4 June - The Firelight Opera + Cohesion

Thursday 9 June - CustomSpace Showcase featuring Stratosphere, Alba Nights and Envy

Saturday 11 June - UK Rock Legends + Russ Tippins

Thursday 16 June - South Tyneside College Music Showcase

Saturday 18 June - Albino Crocodiles + The Crack

Thursday 23 June - Garage Live Showcase

Saturday 25 June - The Blow Monkeys + Steve Daggett

All events run 7 - 9pm, except on 16 June which is 6.30 - 9pm.
- See more at: http://www.southtyneside.gov.uk/article/30140/South-Tyneside-Festival-Live-Music-at-the-Amphitheatre?InstanceId=301402016060407000021599#sthash.hbrUW81L.dpuf

     

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As for the Sunday, Free Concerts in Bents Park, through July; so far:-

July 10th - Alexandra Burke + Ben Haenow

July 17th - The Proclaimers + Lindisfarne

July 24th - Tony Hadley

July 31st - UB40


May not be to everyone’s taste, but did I mention, they’re FREE…...

     

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Line up for South Shields’ amphitheatre June Thusdays for 2017 looks like this:-

Thursday 1 June - The Sour Dogs + Somebody’s Cat
Saturday 3 June - The Boneshakers + Oil City Shakers
Thursday 8 June - The Spacehoppers + The Breakfast Club
Saturday 10 June - The Good Souls + Acoustic Keys
Thursday 15 June - South Tyneside College
Saturday 17 June - The Caffreys + Tony Bengtsson
Thursday 22 June - CustomSpace Showcase
Saturday 24 June - The Revolutionaires + Jay Burt

With K.T. Tunstall being the first headliner for July’s Bents Park Proms - 9th July….
Followed by Busted on the 16th July.
Looks like a load of X-Factor types on 23rd July - including some gratuitous Jedward… (a word we never thought would be mentioned on the forum…ever….)
Legendry Sister Sledge on 30th July.

This year though, there is a “priority” entry charge of £5 per head (tickets available - see website https://www.southtyneside.gov.uk/article/58682/South-Tyneside-Festival for more details).

     

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If there’s a Highway to Hell but only a Stairway To Heaven; it speaks volumes about the predicted traffic flow..