Review and photography by Jonathan Taylor
With festival season drawing to a close, there is one date left on the calendar. This Is Tomorrow Festival at Exhibition Park in Newcastle upon Tyne. Over the course of the weekend, the likes of James, Blossoms, The Kooks and Gerry Cinnamon have graced the stage and entertained the crowds. We join the final day of the festival which sees the likes of Beabadoobee, the mighty Fontaines DC and local lad Sam Fender bring the weekend to a close.
On arrival Rachel Chinouriri is opening the main stage. The London based artist who is joined on stage by just one guitar player, entertains the crowd with her beautifully stripped back, soulful vocal arrangements which is the perfect way to start proceedings in the glorious afternoon sunshine.
Local talent Andrew Cushin has his hometown singing along throughout his set which closes with ‘Where’s My family Gone? He delivers a solid performance, though struggling by his own admission after a heavy night followed his gig in Glasgow the night before!
On the Richard Hamilton Stage, a new artist is unearthed in Laurel. Dressed in a flamboyantly colourful dress, she works the stage a treat delivering upbeat electro inspired pop. Dylan John Thomas follows delighting the afternoon crowd with his blend of acoustic folk. The likes of ‘Nobody Else’ is the perfect accompaniment to the glorious sunshine and unreleased new track ‘Wake Up Ma’ is incredibly moving tale and one to keep an ear out for.
Back on the Main Stage Beabadoobee delivers her cinematic, guitar driven pop effortlessly and gets the biggest reaction from the crowd so far.
Fontaines DC, who are without question the highlight of the day and play all the big hitters from albums ‘Dogrel’ and ‘A Hero’s Death’. Their unique blend of gritty, beautifully chaotic guitars with a vocal delivery of punk poetry at its finest, the likes of ‘Hurricane Laughter’, ‘Boys In The Better Land’, ‘Too Real’, ‘Lucid Dream’ and ‘Televised Mind’ sound monumental. Fontaines DC are an absolute breath of fresh air and deliver an outstanding live performance.
The weekend of music is brought to a close by the much loved local champion Sam Fender. The set opens with ‘Will We Talk’ which sees the joyous crowd, with arms aloft singing every word back to the stage. The stunning ‘Dead Boys’ follows and the evening continues with ‘All Is on My Side’, the delightful ‘Borders’, ‘Spice’ and the beautifully chaotic ‘Howdon Aldi death Queue’.
New tracks ‘Get You Down’ and ‘Seven Going Under’ get a huge response and sound at home in an established set list of cemented fan favourites. The evening concludes with ‘Saturday’ and the epic ‘Hypersonic Missiles’ during which the crowd are whipped into a joyous bouncing frenzy for one last time.
Blessed with glorious weather, which was accompanied by a diverse, but well curated line up of music, the Sunday of This Is Tomorrow Festival was an incredible day of music and a well worth the journey up the A1 to the North East. A big pat on the back to the Geordies.