Middlesbrough’s best night for alternative music (Whirling Dervish) again showcased an eclectic mix of up-and-coming local talent. The Thursday night institution, held at TSOne, is an essential stop on the map for any band gigging the local scene.
Opening the night was Newcastle-based alt rock/grunge band, Creature. The mention of grunge as a musical genre will, more than likely, make you think of a particular band – and yes, the Nirvana influence looms heavily over this outfit, from the songwriting to the visuals and on-stage demeanour. However, Creature have more than enough tricks at their disposal to dismiss them for a mere rehashing of the past, melding the 90s influence with more contemporary and radio-friendly aspects and developing a set which is dynamic, concise and catchy as well as being hands down the stand out performance of the night.
Next up are local two-piece Mr Treacle who played a fuzzed-up set of retro, 60s/70s-inspired hip shakers; think Black Keys meets Cream (with a healthy dose of Black Sabbath thrown in to the mix), and on-stage banter comparable to a wittier version of the Chuckle Brothers, and you might be in the right ball park for describing a Mr Treacle live show. Their mid-tempo, guitar-led stomp provides all in attendance with a half-hour feast of distorted, grizzly riffs.
The final band of the night is Teesside-based hard rock favourites, the Fury Remains. The five-piece’s sound is punchy and tight from the get-go and draws influence from many of the major names in rock and metal. Two of the key markers for the band are Iron Maiden and Motorhead, not just for the fact that they actually cover a song from each of these bands (‘The Trooper’ and ‘Ace of Spades’), but the bulk of what they do has a similar, galloping feel made famous in the new wave of British heavy metal.
This was another memorable night at Whirling Dervish and long may their alternative nights continue.