Subwaves Music Festival at the Head Of Steam, Newcastle Upon Tyne

When I heard that Lava Frog and Thieves Of Liberty were playing at the Head Of Steam in Newcastle, I had to go, as I have been following these two bands for well over two years, and I have seen them evolve into brilliant kick ass bands. So, when I messaged both bands asking if they were up to doing a recorded interview with me, and they very kindly agreed to it.

As the day came, I got to Newcastle for 12 noon, I was an hour early for the start of the gig, which started at 1pm. The time came where I was able to go in. As I got into the venue, I was wondering why they were still setting up, and I found out that they were running 30 minutes behind time, as there was a problem, as they couldn’t get a set of drums out of a room which was locked, and one of the bands had to rush to grab theirs from a different. Now if you have ever been to a gig, with, say, three bands, it is more efficient (most times there is only about fifteen minute window for bands change over) to use one drum kit instead of three, as it takes quite some time to break and set up drum kits, that’s why bands try to use one drum kit where ever possible, the only two things that they change the drum kit is the cymbals and the snare drum.

At this festival there were fourteen bands that played, unfortunately I only caught nine of them, as I did two of interviews with Lava Frog and Thieves Of Liberty, plus I was also talking to some people outside about their sets.

The highlights of this gig came in the forms of the first act and that was Elena Larkin from Hartlepool, England, this pop / rock act did a set where she did primarily covers, but she did an original song called Closure. Now over the last twenty plus years, I haven’t really listened to pop music, as I have found that it is dull, boring and repetitive, but as Elena when through her set I could see that she is a pretty decent singer, and what really caught my attention, was when she did her original song Closure, as this was slightly more rock than pop and I really liked what Elena had written. Near the end of her set, she was interacting when the people that were there and was encouraging them to get up, and come to the stage and start dancing, the people didn’t, but they were coming closer to the stage, because she had the stage presence that drew people in, and one guy got up and started to have a little dance and that was the lead singer of Echolines.

Echolines was up next, they did a quick sound check and went straight into their set. They started off slow, but after a minute or so they just went for it, as they just cranked it to the max. As I watched them, and as they went through their set, I came to the conclusion that this band are really good, and at one point the singer jumped off the stage and started rocking out completely, and when they started to another song both singer and guitarist jumped off the stage and started rocking out. At one point there were a couple people that were fans of the band, decided to start a Wall Of Death, but it failed as there was only two people, now I have been in a Wall Of Death (granted only the one time, never again though), to do a successful Wall Of Death, you need several hundred people to do it. I would love to see this band again and I will keep an eye on them for any future dates in and around the Sunderland and Newcastle areas,

As Echolines came off stage, after they finished their set to allow Eye Bleach to set up for their set, I had a quick look around the venue the Head Of Steam, as this was my first time there, the Head Of Steam is on two levels, the main bar is up on the first floor and is a good little bar, and where the bands were playing is in the basement, the basement is on the small side, but it holds about 50 to 60 people, and my first impressions of the place was good, the drinks were reasonably priced and the staff were friendly.

Anyways, I got back down, to see Eye Bleach start their set and they were pretty good, as I watched them perform, I noticed the drummer and he really impressed me. The only thing that put me off with this band was that they didn’t really interact with the crowd there, they were just a little wooden, other than that they were really good.

After the Eye Bleach finished their set, I went outside to get some air as it was starting to get warm in the venue and two members Lava Frog came in and I got on talking to them about their up coming set and interview. whilst Lava Frog stored their gear until, I waited for them and when they got back, myself and the bassist and guitarist went into the main bar and the bassist went off to get the singer and drummer for the interview, myself and the guitarist sat talking, whilst I was setting up. I was telling the guitarist what questions I was going to ask etc and what has been happening with PMM and the radio show. That time the rest of Lava Frog came in and after a brief description of what the interview is about, we got down to it, and whilst I was conducting the interview I missed the fourth band, When the interview was over Charlie (Lava Frog guitarist) said I’ll look after your gear if you want to go and get Thieves Of Liberty it will save you breaking down and setting back up again. So I went downstairs and got  Thieves Of Liberty for their interview, and I also missed the fifth band, sorry to those bands, I will catch you the next time. I would like to give a huge massive Thank You to Lava Frog and Thieves Of Liberty for giving me the opportunity to do the interviews with me, it is very appreciative.

As I was packing up after the interviews, I went back downstairs and caught Thieves Of Liberty, doing their set, I have been following this band for over two years, I first saw them in March of 2016, and they were a covers band, and in the intervening I caught the on a few more times and the second time I saw them back end of 2016 I believe and they were starting introduce new original music, and the last time I saw them, before Saturday, was September of 2017 at The Borough in Sunderland, when they supported Hivemind. Each I saw them, over the last two years, I was actually seeing them improve each time. On Saturday when I saw them, they were brilliant, the lead singer had improved and was more confident on the stage and interacting  very well with the crowd, and for the rest of the band, they were more confident, as they took their lead from the singer. If anyone has the chance to go and see Thieves Of Liberty, go see them as they are brilliant live.

The next that was on was Saints Of War, now when they came on stage and started doing their set I was OK, these guys were really, really good, as they were a hard rock and metal band, and they were totally rocking out on stage, the only thing what took away from the performance was, that they were doing a lot of power stances like what Steve Harris from Iron Maiden does. and I was think dudes really, all of this is brilliant in a ten thousand seater arena, but when you are in a small venue like the Head Of Steam, as people are up close and personal, its not like in the arena, where it is difficult to see the stage. Other than that I will be keeping an eye on them.

Lava Frog was next, I have also been following this band for well over two years, I first saw these guys supporting Dean James and The Black Dogs back in March 2016, when Dean had a launch party for his Pure album, and over the last two and a half years, I have seen them about four or five times, the last time I saw them prior to Saturday was at Jumpin’ Jacks in Newcastle in April of 2017. In that time they seriously improved, also they have been in the studio to record two new tracks, Repeat and In The Air, which they performed on Saturday and those tracks were brilliant live, I will be playing those tracks on August 9th 2018 on my radio show Project Metal Across The Pond along with the interview. Lava Frog is an amazing band live if you ever get the chance to see these, go see them, as they put on an brilliant show.

Well, for the last few bands that were playing the Subwaves Music Festival, I did catch some of the sets but I was really starting to get tired as I was on the go for over twelves hours and by the time it got to 7:30pm I had to go as I had a ninety minute journey home, so to those bands that I missed, I will get to see you guys in the future.

Overall the festival was really good, the bands that I saw were brilliant. So, when the next Subwaves Music Festival is on, I will be there covering it, and I will get more interviews from the bands that play.

Project Metal Music


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