Andrew Sandelands

Review: Lisbon at Think Tank

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Whitley Bay band Lisbon’s new single I Don’t Know might suggest they don’t know where they are going but if their packed out Think Tank gig is anything to go by they are definitely going somewhere big.

Their infectious, upbeat alt-pop band had the Newcastle crowd bouncing in support and admiration for their music, having had the privilege of watching the band grow.

From teenage selfies at the front to grown men videoing from the back, everyone wanted to capture their own memories of an enthusiastic, adrenaline-fuelled performance.

Originally scheduled for March, Saturday’s eagerly anticipated rearranged performance saw fans from across the North East cram into Newcastle’s Think Tank to witness the launch of the single and they were not disappointed.

Lisbon have been on a rapid rise over the past year with past singles Rio, Native and Blue Love all receiving national acclaim, and for good reason. Captivating guitar combined with a punchy drum beat and catchy vocals to produce songs packed with energy.

The quartet recently recorded a session at Maida Vale studios for BBC radio, an impressive feat for a band so young, and the confidence opportunities like this must provide shines through in their on stage performance.

Matthew Varty, Joe Atkinson, Gaz Turkington and Alex Wright look as at home on the stage as they do in the North East, with Varty, in particular, relishing performing for a crowd hanging on his every word.

Lisbon, for new listeners, exuded the same lively indie pop of popular artists such as Two Door Cinema Club and The 1975, though with their own unique flair.

And yet the night was about even more than Lisbon’s performance. Fresh from their first ever gig, supporting the Subways in Sunderland, last month, Newcastle alternative three-piece Sun Dance opened up in superb fashion with a set that quite impressively, especially for a band so new, combined hints of the Last Shadow Puppets with the Black Keys.

Next were Leeds based Marsicans, who breezed onto the stage to deliver a bright performance of their energetic indie pop which was almost as colourful as their shirts. With similarities to another North East band, Little Comets, the four-piece offered a complimentary lead up to the headline act, having released a new single of their own in Leeds earlier in the day and clearly on a performing high.

The crowd had turned up to see Lisbon but were treated to an enjoyable evening of summery indie songs from every band.

Lisbon’s electric headline performance confirmed what many local gig goers already knew, this band is going places.

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