Live: Spinn – Riverside, Newcastle

It is a wet miserable Wednesday night and I’m stuck in traffic just outside Newcastle.  Things are looking bleak but I have a big smile on my face as I’m  on my way to see the energetic, jangly indie of Liverpool band Spinn.  I first caught them at Twisterella 2018 in Middlesbrough where their tight playing and bouncy dancing from frontman Jonny made them one of the highlights of the day. 

The Riverside is a venue close to my heart and was the venue for my favourite gig of last year when I saw Idles there in all their noisy glory.  It was a very different crowd for tonight’s gig.  A young and excitable crowd had come out in spite of the weather.  I think I probably looked like I was a Dad dropping off their lad at the gig but the kids are right Spinn are a band to look out for.

They come on stage looking as scouse as you can with guitarist Andy in a Liverpool white away kit from the Robbie Fowler era, I guess begrudgingly being pulled away from seeing the reds against Napoli in the Champions League.  The band though were clearly loving being on stage and infront of such a large,  enthusiastic crowd.  Frontman Jonny mentioned the much loved and now much missed Little Buildings venue, where they played to 20 people supporting a metal band not so long ago.  They’ve certainly come a long way in a short space of time.

Their debut album fuses a range of styles with a Stone Roses groove with an air of positivity in these bleak times.  There is also an introspection and a willingness to show vulnerability which makes their tunes have more to them than you get on first listen.

The band already have a very accomplished on stage persona with Andy keeping his head down playing beautiful riffs in the style of a young Will Sergeant.  They go through their big hitters such as ‘Bliss’, ‘Sunshine’ and the fantastic ‘Notice Me’, which brings about a mini-mosh pit all in good spirit.  The Echo and the Bunnymen similarities don’t just relate to their lead guitarist bit also when they play a couple of new tunes there is definitely a hint of the Liverpool legends.  Both new tracks have a bit more of an edge and the power of the rhythm section comes through also.  It’ll be interesting to see how their sound develops as they progress.

Mid-set there is a strong rallying cry for young people to get out and vote in the upcoming election.  They got a good reaction and I was happy to be in my Spinn bubble with young people giving me hope for the future.  The big surprise was just how strong Jonny’s voice sounds live.  He’s great on bangers like ‘Believe It Or Not’ when he can bounce around and get the crowd going but on slower, softer tunes he really comes into his own.  There is a warmth and openness to his vocals and his performance in general especially on the rather beautiful ‘July at a Glance’.

These guys have been working hard on this their biggest tour to date and judging from their Twitter account to the detriment of their Uni studies.  On the back of this lads I’d say keep writing great Indie tunes and you’ll be alright.  Looking forward to seeing what the new year holds for this exciting young band. 

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