Up first tonight to perform to the highly-appreciative crowd were Du Blonde. Fronted by Newcastle-born Beth Jeans Houghton, she decided to go through a visual and aural transformation from sombre folky to bleach-haired, red-lipped alter-ego/project Du Blonde in 2015 – and she’s become a caricatured vision of the ultimate punk frontwoman. Singles ‘Black Flag’ and ‘Hunter’ sound even better live and the band’s chemistry is solid, ruining any chance of it becoming a one-woman show.
After a short interlude, up stepped self-proclaimed oddball Ezra Furman in his customary black dress, lipstick, and pearls. The bisexual, cross-dressing Jew performed a number of tracks from his new album ‘Transangelic Exodus’ including recently released single ‘Suck the Blood from my Wound’, with many of the doo-wop-influenced punk-rock sounding tracks referencing mental illness, Judaism and gender issues in some way. Ezra warmed to the crowd throughout his hour-long set and began to feel a lot more comfortable later during his performance noting: “Thank you for accepting this type of band and who I am” – which received a deafening round of applause.
Furman would probably have seemed fairly unusual in any era, but his distinctiveness shines a little brighter in a world where a lot of rock is painted in neutral shades.