After Avalanche Party Cattle and Cane Tea
By Robert Nichols
Friday 12 Jun 2015 16:08:00
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This is the tale of two launch gigs, one for an eagerly awaited debut EP, the other for a refreshing new blend of tea. Promoter Henry Carden invited me down to The Olde Young Tea House for a soothing Sunday afternoon acoustic set from Cattle and Cane where their new tea was on the menu. This was the perfect pick me up after Henry's rocket fuelled promotion at the Westgarth of Avalanche Party's seismic Saturday night showpiece.

The dynamite duo, Mouses, kicked off Saturday night with a frenzy of short, sharp, atom busting mini block busters. This is lo-fi with the distortion full on. Energy overkill. Their recently released second EP is drawn from darker matter than the first. Grab it quickly, they are on fire.

Hide at the back, Goy Boy McIlroy are in the house. The sell out crowd were soon invaded by the gentle giant vocalist, breaking out of the confines of the small stage and low ceiling and spilling forth to run amok. This included pressing ceiling tiles out of place, playing mid-air guitar riffs on a previously wall mounted instrument before generously issuing ice cubes from the bar and then turning the container upside down over his own head. All the while the music raged every bit as magnificently as the rampaging singer.

The Approved have electricity in their bones and plugged us all in straight to the national grid. The fire of God is within the singing, guitar slinging, garage band preacher. White Star Lightning is the not so fringe Benefit Street antidote from the psychedelic duo. The Approved have a new single out, the surprisingly melodic waters of Cruel Sea was launched at the Sun Inn last weekend. It wins my seal of approval.

For me the outstanding memory from this year's Stockton Calling was Jordan Bell of Avalanche Party climbing the barriers to fire his guitar salvos in the midst of the audience. At the Westgarth they were launching a wonderful new five track EP. It was an EP like the launch pad set, showcasing the new spectrum they cover, from all out sonic assault to melodic balladeers. These sonic boom boys have come down from the moors and are now building mountains amongst the masses. What is not to like from the mighty rhythms licked from the top knot drummer and rodeo bass case. The dual guitar wall of sound switches back to a 60s psychedelic keyboard cascade over the crooning vocals of the singer in black. The gigs ends with the band reaching out and playing within their doting audience. There is no stopping this Avalanche Party they are on a roll.

Avalanche Party

A day later and in almost complete contrast, Cattle and Cane were playing two soothing Sunday shows in the wondrous Olde Young Tea House. The intimate shows were reward for album pledge stake holders and bloggers and to provide a first taste for their delicious new blends of Cattle and Cane tea. The debut album, Home, will be launched in September but for now it was a real privilege to be so close to the band and the music from the pared down three piece of siblings Joe, Fran and Helen Hammill. Sold My Soul and The Poacher were devoured from the menu. They also served up a rousing Infant Hercules. We still #believe... but next season now for Boro. It felt like a warm welcome into a home from home in The Olde Young Tea House in the company of Teesside's pride and joy, Cattle and Cane.

Cattle and Cane

What a weekend.

Pix Tracy Hyman



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