For the last 4 – 5 weeks, when Dean James posted that he was doing a gig at The Charles Young Centre in South Shields on the 8th of October, I was really looking forward to the gig, so the night came, and what a night. The support acts were awesome, they were Charlotte Gutteridge and Tony Bengtsson. The night had a serious note to it, as the night was raising money for Bloodwise (formerly leukaemia and lymphoma research) as a friend of Dean’s Graham who raise funds in memory of my son Steven who had leukaemia as a toddler, he beat the disease but was killed by a speeding driver in 2009 not far from home Teddy Travels.
First singer of the singer of the gig was the 14 year old, Charlotte, she is from South Shields and is a singer/song writer. Just before she started her set, Dean James introduced Charlotte, and he said that she was going to do a 10 to 15 minute set. As Dean handed the mic over to Charlotte everyone gave her warm welcome and she said that her first song was written by her, and then started playing. As I was standing at the back of the room, just to get the full effect of the performances, and what I saw was amazing, normally when I have been to gigs there is usually background noise, like people talking, glass been knocked about etc, but a full room of 70 people went silent, just to listen to Charlotte, when started to sing and play the acoustic guitar, I was well truly shocked (bearing in mind that I am an extreme metal fan) at how awesome Charlotte is, and I can’t believe how much talent this young kid from South Shields has got. When she finished the song the crowd erupted in a massive round of applause. Her next song was a Taylor Swift cover and nailed that as well. Her third and finally that she did was Hallelujah, most people will recognize this song from the first Shrek film, she did this song perfectly, just thinking about it now, just gives me goose bumps as she sung it with heart. and soul that made this metaller glad he came to this gig, and watch this brilliant performance from a talented young lady. Through out the performance that Charlotte gave, everyone kept silent, so they could hear every word she’d sang. When Charlotte finished, and Dean was handed back the mic the room erupted with applause and when Dean said give it up for Charlotte, the room redoubled the applause and grow louder for a minute or more.
As I went out to get some fresh air and have a cigarette, I got talking to a couple of people, and they said to me that Charlotte was amazing, awesome, brilliant, and a very talented young kid, and from the general chat that I heard, she is one to watch for in the future.
As I got to the gig a bit early, I managed to get to hear a bit of Tony’s sound check, and from what I could tell, that Tony was going to be good. When Dean introduced Tony to the crowd, they gave him a warm welcome, and when he started his set with one of his own songs. and when he got to near the end of it, he pulled out one hell of a note, this guy sang this note and held it for a good 20 seconds, and I was like Daymn, this guy is good. As he went through his set, the stand out tracks for me was Beatdown, which he played at the start of the second Jarrow March a few years back. Shame is another track that stood out for me, is Shame, it is about poverty and the shame that goes with it, as in that when you were young and when your parents tell you to hide behind the sofa to make out that no one is at home, when someone knocks on the door demanding money that the family doesn’t have.
As Tony finished the set the crowd was very appreciative of Tony applauded and cheered him.
Dean James & The Black Dogs
Well that I came to see was up, and the room went mental for them when they started playing. they started playing songs off the Pure album (which was released in March). As they went on with the set, I did see that some of the audience start to dance to the music.
They took a small break in the middle of the set, so they could draw a winner for a raffle that they held to raise for Teddy Travels a Bloodwise (formerly leukaemia and lymphoma research), and as they were drawing out the raffle tickets the bassist and the drummer played Money by Pink Floyd. They had raised £184 on the night, and Joanne Stobbs of Dezire with inner beauty salon boosted it up to £200 on Sunday.
When they finished the raffle they resumed the gig, as they played Move On, Alive, and Whiskey off the album they also played 2 new track Hollywood (which is my favourite of the 2) and Higher, which both really good, and when they started playing these, quite a few people got up and danced. As Dean and the Dogs was finishing the last song, people was shouting more and they did one more, and another, in the end they 3 more songs, and thats when they stopped, but people was still wanting more. Well what what can I say about the night, everyone had a great time, the singers were amazing, this gig was one of the highlights of the year.
I would definitely give the whole gig a massive 5 out of 5.
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ALL PHOTOS BY Michael Brady