Lee Hawthorn

Mitch Laddie Band impress eclectic crowd in The Cluny 2

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Mitch Laddie Band

A Schmurda dancing Jesus look-a-like, a student suffering from third degree gurns and a Fenwicks bag wielding pensioner walking into a bar might sound like the start to an awful joke, but it was the reality of the eclectic mix of people gathered in The Cluny 2 awaiting to hear from the Mitch Laddie Band and tracks from their new album.

Before the headline band hit the stage, the support act, Rubric unleashed their own music on the Ouseburn crowd, which for the most part was underwhelming. Prior to their playing of the captivating chant-heavy song, which claimed respectful comparisons to the early Rick Rubin era Def Jam musings from the likes of the Beastie Boys and Run DMC, and more recently Kanye West’s Yeezus album. The lead man signalled that the song was experimental and different to what they’re usually about, and I’d argue its a path they should travel more often.

The Sunderland based band also brought records from their recent The Game EP into the set, showcasing capable musical talent, but failed to pack a punch to really impress more than a small portion of the crowd.

Then, the big guns came out, and I don’t know about Mitch, but I personally felt offended for him and his talent, playing to a crowd of no more than fifty people in the subsidiary venue of one of Tyneside’s more intimate live music spots. The man puppeteers the strings of his guitar in ways I couldn’t dream of, back when I tried (and failed), to take lessons back in high school.

I wasn’t the only member in the crowd blown away by his incredible talent with the instrument – and in fairness to his bandmates, their own respective musical talents deserved to at least be showcased on the primary stage of The Cluny. That said, the band didn’t let the intimate setting deter them, breezing through my personal favourite and Amsterdam inspired Move On Over, covers of the likes of Marvin Gaye and Jimi Hendrix and performing a track that they’d only written a few days ago to consistent applause.

Before welcoming the wonderful Beth Macari to the stage for a special guest performance, the Blues prodigy promised that their album would be wrapped up by the year-end, indicating that September was looking likely for the time being. Judging by the records played on Friday night, the album will be a must-listen.

While the guitar solo’s were beginning to tread dangerously towards overkill, nobody can deny that Mitch Laddie, Rhian Wilkinson and Matt Connor, who make up the other two thirds of the band, are tremendously talented, not only with playing their respective instruments, but in combining with one another to create captivating records and their ability to draw such a diverse crowd, is testament to that.

If you missed out last week, they are playing Sunderland’s Dun Cow this coming Friday 13 and, I’d highly recommend treating yourself to one of the best musicians you’re likely to ever see at the venue.


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