Many things change in this world, technologies advance, governments rise and fall, seasons come and go. Some things never change though, and the thrill of listening to live music in small sweaty venues is a constant. The Globe in Newcastle is a particularly interesting small sweaty venue, owned by a cooperative “set up to support the learning, performance and development of music and arts”- a worthy cause, and they serve up decent beer and a wide variety of music. Primarily formed to promote Jazz music following the death of Newcastle’s “Jazz Man”, Keith Crombie, The Globe has widened its net to capture and promote more than just Jazz. I headed over to Newcastle to catch GLOO play the only northern date of their tour at The Globe, and compared to the rest of the dates, it was pretty northern. Drummer Mark admitted that it was the furthest north in England that any of them had ever been, and looking at their current tour schedule, other than Newcastle, the band’s northernmost gig has been in Islington.
Northumberland support band, Runners got the night off to a flying start with a (mainly) covers set featuring tracks from a wide array of artists from The Killers to Green Day, as well as a couple of originals. Highlights included a fantastic Hardcore version of Weezer’s ‘Say It Ain’t So’ and a riotous performance of My Chemical Romance’s ‘Teenagers’. The band recently finished as runners up in the North East schools Battle of the Bands comp, and whilst they’re still honing their skills, it’s not difficult to imagine a bright future for them.
The main event, GLOO followed with a barn storming nine song set largely comprising of tracks from their debut album, ‘A Pathetic Youth’. Let’s get this straight, I fucking love this band; their unique blend of Punk, Grunge and Alt-Rock is incredibly infectious and delivered with all the subtlety of a mallet to the forehead. Having had the album on repeat pretty much since I got it, I was excited to see them play a relatively local gig to me but wondered if it might lose any of its intensity in live performance. It didn’t. It took that level of intensity, turned it up to eleven, and supercharged that mallet to a hydraulic drill.
There’s only three of them (lead vocalist and guitarist, Tom; drummer and vocalist, Mark; and bassist, Simon) but they have all the power of a 50 piece marching band, amplified and making their way through your front room. GLOO benefit from having two ‘frontmen’ (despite the fact that one of them is at the back) in Tom and Mark, but the energy of the whole band’s show is something to behold. Tom sometimes cuts a menacing figure to the side of stage, delivering lyrics with a side serving of vitriol, yet his performance is utterly engaging. Simon works the other side of the stage, covering the space well as he works the bass with frenetic energy. Mark is the frontman at the back, taking centre stage, and driving the rhythm section relentlessly.
Unsurprisingly, given the distance between Newcastle and their hometown of Littlehampton, and the fact that GLOO have never ventured as far north before, the audience was small but highly appreciative. If they continue to put on shows like this, and continue to put in the miles, then the crowds will come. So do yourself a favour, keep an eye for when these are next touring, and get in there quick, because they will blow your little socks off.
Stop And Stare
Act My Age
Let Me Have Some
GLOO - https://www.facebook.com/glooband/
Runners - https://www.facebook.com/runnersofficialband/
Review - Jon Stokes