A new showcase is on the horizon for North East music lovers and it promises not to disappoint.
First Wave Vol 1, taking place at Ku Bar and The Georgian Theatre in Stockton on Friday 2nd February, will include 10 fresh upcoming acts.
Headliners include Guildford punk-rockers BlackWaters, whose influences stem from 70s Sex Pistol-esque Brit-punk and current acts such as Palma Violets and Fidlar.
The band debuted with ‘So Far Out’ – a political rhetoric about the Brexit vote that was produced by Libertines’ frontman, Carl Barat. Their recent single, ‘Down’, is an angst punk feast which will surely be a mosh-friendly track in a live festival setting. Having commandeered the introducing stage at Leeds Festival, and having toured with Barat’s Jackals and The Libertines, Blackwaters are sure to bring some invigorating flair to the KU Bar stage.
Indie-punks Life are also set to join the showcase as headliners of The Georgian Theatre stage.
Having been termed as Hull’s ‘Infamous DIY band’, and making waves in the UK with the release of debut ‘Popular Music’ back in May, their album has received critical acclaim, with Kerrang! calling it ‘an album to stoke the fires of change’ and The Guardian praising it as ‘brilliant’, with Life proving that ‘there is no best-before date on punk’s gleeful energy.’ Their collaborations with Grammy award-winning producer Ian Dowling (whose impressive catalogue includes Bombay Bicycle Club, Wavves and The Orwells) have assembled a discography of fiery tracks, with songs from both ‘Popular Music’ and their 2015 debut EP ‘I Knew I Was A Rat’ sure to be exhibited in its finality at First Wave.
Local Teesside lads Pink Tide, who have been described as having a rough indie blues sound, will also make an appearance on this stage. And James Leonard Hewitson, who has been a staple on the North East circuit for quite some time now, is certain to wow the audience with his anti-folk melodies and witty lyrics.
North East locals Shamu will also play on the KU Bar stage, with their sound defined as ‘alt-pop songs with electronic beats, synths and samples combined with acoustic drums and atmospheric guitars’. They burst onto the scene back in 2016 with their debut single ‘Dive’ – which clearly showcases their eclectic influences – and they’ve been compared to the likes of Tame Impala and Glass Animals. ‘Dive’ boasts a nautical theme that is consistent throughout their lyrics, with the vivid imagery of the sea creating a mysterious listen.
Indie-pop quartet Llovers will also be joining in with the fun. They’re a band which aims to spread the message of love, with ‘dream-driven’ tracks channelled by ‘unquestionable pop sensibility’. NME have commended them for having ‘Dead catchy guitar riffs and a really fun vibe. Lots to enjoy here’. Their live gigs have been chronicled as oozing with professionalism and talent, certainly fitting in with the string of bands performing at First Wave. They found success with single ‘Borderlands’, which was played on BBC introducing and placed in Spotify’s Hot New Bands playlist, with latest single ‘I Don’t Mind’ showcasing the exquisite harmonies that have become a signature for the band.
First Wave joins the list of North East showcases that you must go to this year and is one of the best places to see some of the UK’s hottest new bands all in one day. Hopefully, it will be the start of an annual event and will surely be a momentous occasion for the freshest faces on the music circuit today.
Tickets, priced at £7.25 in advance, are available from seetickets.com and The Georgian Theatre, Storytellers, and Sound It Out Records in Stockton.