For everything:  riffsonline@gmail.com

Riffs welcomes constant info on gigs, line-up changes and general band associated news.
(Please note that the further down the page, the older the News..................) 

I'm the owner of The George Stephenson Inn on great lime road.
I've got my 2015 diary open for bookings next year. The diary is filling up quite fast so anyone wanting to play in my pub next year can you get them to contact me asap.  Thanks very much!   Tiffany    milanotee@gmail.com   07732 175486

Wow! What a voice, the guy's still got it .... check out this track from Paul Rodgers' lastest album.  here

Can Riffs remind suppliers of gigs that we have on our Listings page, quite clearly: 'All gigs are free unless otherwise stated'. The more astute amongst you will have realised, therefore, that we need to know if there is a cover charge on the gig. We try to keep our information as accurate as possible and letting punters know whether it is a free gig or not is important. We also remind you that if we have a query regarding supplied gigs that this could delay the inclusion of your gigs or, if we are very busy and unable to highlight the query with you, deny the inclusion altogether..............

Returning from a month gigging in Scandinavia, Spectrum UK (feat Tom Atkinson, Jeff Armstrong, Carl McMenemy) will be playing a one-off mixed covers set at Sleepers, East Boldon, this Saturday, 6th September.

The MGs are Allen Matthews and Jeff Grant. Each an accomplished musician and singer in their own right with a long history of performing at the highest level throughout the North East. Allen's pure voice can bring a tear to many a maiden's eye and Jeff's exquisite and heartfelt guitar playing never sacrifices feeling for technical wizardry. They have now teamed together to bring you their mix of electrically acoustical and sometimes acoustically electrical sounds with many a surprise in their choices. Catch them now - see FB https://www.facebook.com/groups/1618568935036283/1618572781702565/?notif_t=like for details of gigs!

Due to the closure of the Office,South Shields, all gigs have been moved to a new venue:-

The Sound,Laygate,South Shields...NE33 5RF
Starting this weekend:-
Friday 29th August...I am Maiden (Iron Maiden Tribute)
Saturday 30th August..Damaged Inc (Metallica Tibute)

Saturday, April 25, 2015, The Academy, Newcastle   £22.50

The Flying Vs
 are confirmed to play at Ashcon 2014 warming up the audience for their heroes Wishbone Ash at The Winding Wheel Chesterfield on November 1st 2014. 
The band: Jeff Grant gtr & vox, Dave Barnes gtr & vox, Aaron Johnson bass & vox and Alan Thompson drums & vox made their debut only in February this year at Ronnington 2014 and are rapidly gathering a reputation on the circuit specialising in dual harmony lead guitar. This really is a dream come true for the lads who are all lifelong Wishbone Ash fans and whose sets include songs from the first six albums and also songs by The Allman Brothers, Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jimi Hendrix, UFO and more.....
The Flying Vs, in addition to playing Ashcon 2014, have also been invited to play The County Bar, Chesterfield on October 31st by the Wishbone Ash Fan Club at their Wishclone Ish event.


Skinny Molly was founded in 2004 by Mike Estes (formerly of Lynyrd Skynyrd) and drummer Kurt Pietro. What was meant to be a one off tour of Europe has turned into one of the hardest working and popular rock bands out of the southern United States. Skinny Molly now includes guitarist Jay Johnson (Blackfoot/Rossington Band), and Grand Ole Stalwart bassist Luke Bradshaw. This line up has toured relentlessly, crossing the States and three continents on the strength of their "No Good Deed" debut CD in 2008, which has established the band as popular touring outfit across the USA and Europe. As part of their 2014 World Tour Skinny Molly are stopping off at Gateshead in the United Kingdom to perform at the Three Tuns.
Skinny Molly at the three tuns on Saturday 18th October featuring ex Lynyrd Skynyrd front man Mike Estes. It's £6 ticket or £9 on the door.
Full Molly info here

The Animals plus Russ Tippins / Mainsforth Community Centre DL17 0AG
December 13th 7pm. tickets £18  tel 07814965724

Scottish Blues Rock trio Lewis Hamilton Band are on an English tour and they have had a gig cancellation on Friday August 8th. They are in Carlisle on the Thursday and are at The Cluny on the Saturday so they would rather stay in the region than go home to Scotland and come back down again. As a result of this, the fee for this gig is negotiable and would be less than their usual fee.
if you are interested, please txt me 07811 899994 or email garygrainger@gmail.com and I will hook you up.

Blaydon Beer festival from 8th to 10th August are featuring a number of bands and music acts as well as beer!! from 6pm on the Friday night all the way through to Sunday night bands such as Ask Ruby, American Girl. Maverick Rejects, Erik and the Vikings as well as the Acoustic Beatles and others play over the festival, click the link below to go to the website;

Just had a load of great gigs submitted for the Rock Pit in Bishop Auckland. Looks like a heavy rockers paradise! All of Augusts gigs are now up. Reads like the who's who of rockin' north-east bands........ check out our Gig Listings page for details

The George Stephenson at West Moor is in new hands - tel Tiffany on 07732 175486 re bookings
thanks to Stormy Monday for this info..

hi,if anyone has any gigs booked at the Office in South Shields for 2014, whether they have been recently cancelled or otherwise,can they contact me on 07545544893,and I will confirm/reinstate dates....cheers....Al

Crookfest raises £1,000 for Help For Heroes

MUSIC lovers raised £1,000 for Help for Heroes at a football club’s festival this weekend.
Hundreds turned out to see more than 30 acts perform at Crookfest held at Crook Town Football club in Crook, County Durham, on Saturday and Sunday (May 4 and 5).
Organiser Marshall Rippon said he was pleased with how it had gone and delighted with how much was raised for the charity.
He said: “A special mention must go to Chuck Henderson who talked me into hosting Help for Heroes at Crookfest and helped a lot with the promotion of the festival.”

CrookFest 2014 Rockin for Heroes has been adding some extra names to the Saturday/Sunday Line-ups: The Boneshakers will now be playing The Hut Bar Stage alongside The Sugar Bs and Sheikh Ya Mojo for a full evening of the blues Saturday 3rd May. Solo artist Ricky Clark & rock band High Tide have also been added to the Saturday Patterson Stage which has Russ Tippins, Fickle Lilly, The Wanderers, Graham Henderson Experience, Alexanders Palace as special guests. Sunday 4th May also has new additions with Twister, The Avenues and Cats on Steroids making it a total of 25 bands covering the 3 CrookFest stages on the Sunday - these also feature the amazing Bessie and Zinc Buckets, State of Quo, Dust Town Dogs, Bon Jovi Forever, Emerald Thieves, The Bandits as special guests. The fest is held inside marquees in the grounds of Crook Football Club both days start noon finish 11.45pm,  tickets are £15 per day or £25 weekend pass available from Hope St Newsagents Crook; Crook Football Club 01388 762959; Ticketmaster-CrookFest, www.crooktownafc.co.uk   crooktafc@gmail.com

Sad news, The Grand in Bishop Auckland is closing its doors again, Paul, the present tenant, has been fighting a losing battle since day 1 apparently and enough is enough. They are having one final fling  with Shake the Snake Saturday 19th April before closing the doors on the 20th.

Alan, fizzyfish

Free pint for all selected buskers at the open Mic night starts 8pm Thursday 10th April at the White Lead, Blackett Street,  Hebburn NE31 1ST  hosted by Neil James Atkinson. New and regular buskers are all welcome.

Here is a mobile phone number for Joanne at The George Stephenson Inn, West Moor,  07872178260.
So any bands that have gigs booked there between now and the end of May please get in touch with Joanne on that number, she is only there until the end of May, so who knows what will happen after then at the venue when the new people take over the pub.
The George Stephenson Inn has always been a great venue for us, Heavy Load, let's hope it continues to do so for a good while longer, support your local pub and the bands that play there, keep live music alive and kicking in the North East.
Gordon Stables - Heavy Load

A short while ago you posted a front page ad for our gig for help the heroes in Framwellgate moor. We collected over a period of 8 gigs and sold everything that HFH sent for fund raising. We had a brilliant night on the main fundraising night. We have recently sent HFH a cheque for £1260 and would like to thank you for your help towards this amazing charity.

Richie  Mystified

Further to letters re the george stephenson, i visited to confirm our gigs in july and october. joanne is only there until may and does not have the diary so gigs beyond that will need to be confirmed with whoever takes over.

I read with interest the post by Gordon Stables of Heavy Load and have tried establishing contact with the new manager, Joanne, but to no avail. The two bands I'm in have previously booked gigs in June, September and October and the gigs were confirmed with bar staff, in February, who said that the 'official' diary would be passed on to the new manager. The last 'phone number I was able to use to secure the gigs was 0191-216-1707 but it now appears unavailable and apart from a personal visit, there appears no other method of contact. Can anyone out there help?
Keith Johnson
The Jayhawkers and Too Tired

The George Stephenson Inn, Great Lime Road, West Moor NE12 7NJ has been taken over by new management today, Wednesday 19th March, it was closed yesterday but it will be open by the weekend. The new manageress is called Joanne, and Heavy Load are playing at The George Stephenson Inn on Saturday 22nd March, 9.00 pm as advertised on our web site and on the gig list page on riffsonline. Any band that has a gig there should contact Joanne to confirm their booking.
Gordon Stables - Heavy Load


Acoustic Exiles are an exciting new rock covers band poised to hit the North East music scene in a big way. This 5 piece band has plenty of pedigree and boasts ex members of The Beer Monkeys, The Rise and Traffickers. They belt out bucket loads of renowned rock classics by the likes of Guns N Roses, Bon Jovi, The Foo Fighters, Thin Lizzy, AC/DC, Hendrix, The Cult, Metallica etc but with a neat twist - it's all done acoustically. Check them out at www.facebook.com/acousticexiles and look out for them at a pub near you soon!

Teesside 80s rockers BLACK ROSE have been confirmed to play at the Play It Loud Festival in Brescia, Italy on Sat 15th March. The festival features rock and metal bands from the UK, Italy, Spain, Canada & the USA. Black Rose are currently writing for a new album and the line up is -
Steve Bardsley - Lead Vocals/Guitar
Kenny Nicholson - Lead Guitar
Kiko Rivers - Bass Guitar
Chris Bennett - Drums
The band will be announcing more European dates soon. Also on the bill for the Play it Loud festival are North East metal band - the mighty SATAN.

A new live music venue/cafe has opened in Stockton we are looking for acoustic acts or guitar, keyboard players to play around 30min to an hour during the day around lunch time at Musiclounge, all equipment including pa is provided.  This is ideal for students or any other musicians who want to get noticed, we will be holding band nights in future. Please check  www.musicloungestockton.co.uk
www.music-start.co.uk   or call Oliver on 07891343524

The Lambton Worm, North Road, Chester Le Street, is switching its music night from its regular Sunday to Friday nights at 9pm effective immediately. However, to ensure a smooth changeover, for the next two weeks there will be music nights Sunday AND Friday. And then from March 9 it will be Fridays only.
Snake Oil duo has been hastily added to the gig list and they will be playing at the venue TONIGHT - FRIDAY 28.
This is how the list looks:
Friday 28 Feb: Snake Oil duo 9pm
Sunday 02 Mar: The 2 hogs 7.30pm
Friday 07 Mar: Ani Sandwith 9pm
Sunday 09 Mar: Beth Macari 7.30pm
Friday 14 Mar: Faye and Foster duo 9pm
Friday 21 Mar: Gareth beddard 9pm

The barley mow pub on vigo lane birtley is shut till further notice.

CrookFest is back for its 4th year on bank holiday weekend 3rd and 4th May, noon till 11 pm and this year the festival will be raising funds the Help for Heroes charity with 3 stages hosting a range of rock music plus new to the festival on the saturday only will be the inclusion of a Rockabilly /RocknRoll  marquee featuring bands such as Fickle Lilly, The Q Jumpers, The Wanderers plus DJs while the other stages will feature the fests traditional rock such as Russ Tippins, Alexanders Palace, GH Experience. The RockJam Sunday has Bessie and the Zinc Buckets ,State of Quo and The Emerald Thieves playing the festival for the first time along with Bon Jovi Forever, The Dust Town Dogs and loads more, tickets are £15 per day weekend pass £25  available from Crook FC and -Ticketmaster CrookFest -  www.crooktownafc.co.uk

The "Help For Heroes" evening will be at Framwellgate Moor & Pity Me Working Men’s Club (near Durham) on Friday February 28th.

The group Mystified will be playing and there will be raffles and bingo. The event starts at 7pm. All proceeds are going to the Help for Heroes charity.

The event is registered with the charity.

Entry is £3 on the door and HTH merchandise can be purchased on the night.

Michael Katon and the Helltown Band
Forest Hall Ex Service Mens Club
Friday 24/01/2014

Hats off to the organisers of the Newcastle Blues Club for an outstanding evening of "Live" music. The night, eventually, kicked off as there was a technical hitch with a very good local band called TWISTER led by the excellent STEVIE STOKER. The band played some very good originals and some well worked covers and they went down well with an appreciative crowd. Next up were the LAST FAKERS, another local band who seem to be on the verge of breaking into the big time and their short but well played set also went down a storm with the audience.The highlight of the night arrived when MICHAEL KATON AND THE HELLTOWN BAND took the stage. MICHAEL always delivers his brand of Blues and Rock with an enormous amount of skill and energy and it was a wonder he could keep up the pace as the band had travelled 18 hours to get to the gig.Michael Katon and his band played songs off their new album HARD ON ( The Boogie) as well as songs from his extensive back catalogue and all went down well with a very enthusiastic crowd. The final encore came after midnight , thanks the the Club for allowing the gig to reach it's climax as there was a delay in starting and it showed the quality of the performance by the number of people who were still hanging onto every note. My favourite song of the night was the magnificent "Get On The Boogie Train" but there were so many outstanding tracks it seems a bit petty to pick one out. MICHAEL KATON invited some of the North East's best on stage to join him for a couple of songs and Ronnie Semple, Mitch Laddie and Anthony Turner of the Last Fakers seemed to enjoy the experience as much much as the band and the audience. A great night all round thanks to everyone concerned. If you get the chance look up the NEWCASTLE BLUES CLUB they seem to be booking some outstanding shows at an excellent venue, they deserve all the support they can get.
Christine and Terry Harbron

Somebody emailed Riffs recently asking if we knew of an electric Buskers night. If that person is still interested then the Three Tuns in Gateshead has just such an event every Wednesday. Landlord Paul will make you most welcome.............

The Rising are very pleased to announce the appointment of new drummer Ian 'Brick' Thompson. Formerly of the Whitesnake tribute band Slip of the Tongue, Brick will be taking up the role with immediate effect. Alongside Jeff Hopkins (Bass), the two original ex Riot members Alan Clark (Vocals/Guitar), and John Sykes (Keys), make up this not to be missed Classic Rock covers band, who are all looking forward to adding further new  material in the coming months.

Check out The Rising on facebook.

LOVEHUNTER are a Whitesnake tribute band, hailing from West Yorkshire. This 6-piece outfit are playing at The Office in South Shields, this coming Friday, the 10th of January. They play a range of material from the early bluesier roots of 70s Whitesnake, right through to their revamped hair-rock era or the late 80s and early 90s. The band also feature former A Foreigner's Journey lead guitarist, John Oxley, and the excellent vocal talents of Colin Robinson. Lovehunter are due on stage shortly after 9pm, and there is £3 admission fee. For further details and information on the band, please visit their website at http://www.lovehunteruk.com/

The Clarence Villa in Coxhoe are switching their music night for solo and duo gigs from a Sunday to a Friday night due to popular demand so please note that the last Sunday gig will be 22nd Dec at 7.30pm featuring the Two Hogs and then Fridays from then on with the first Friday 3rd January from 8.45pm featuring Danny Smith.

It's this weekend our charity event for The North East Regional Ladies Cancer Centre and I just wanted to tell you what I found out today. The money we raise this weekend amongst other things will buy an ice machine so the ladies, many of whom are too ill to eat, can enjoy the protein drinks they are forced to rely on. Let's put petty disagreements aside eh and help raise this cash. It's not going to any corporate pot, it's going directly to improve if albeit slightly the lives of people who desperately need our support and love. I can't tell you how humbled I am when I drop in and see the fantastic things these wonderful people have done with our bit money we've raised and if you can possibly help then please do in this way....
Come along Saturday or Sunday and see some fantastic live bands (listed below).
Drop us in a prize for the raffle or the auction.
Or, just declare your support here and offer some encouragement, remember we have committed to raising at least £3000 or the pub will make up the difference.
Saturday 21st
Sheriff Hillbillies...The Regular Johns (Foo Fighters tribute)...27 Side Effects...Bad Bob Bates....Beth Macari....Dethroned....Logoz
Sunday 22nd
The Deputies...Toxic...Akq Stottin Unplugged...Inner City Skies....New Age Jam....Dust Town Dogs.

The Grand, Bishop Auckland has reopened with new landlord Paul. He will still be having bands on but he wants to mix the genres up a bit. He is looking at 2 bands per month at the moment starting on Saturday, 21st December followed by New Years Eve. If anyone wants to get in touch re. gigs, his contact number is 07974 593072

Local cowpunk band The Fractured Valves have secured the support slot opening for the legend that is Edward Tudor-Pole. The former frontman with Tenpole Tudor ( 'Swords Of A Thousand Men' , 'Wunderbar' etc) also a well known screen and tv actor is playing a solo acoustic show at The Black Bull, Mulgrave Terrace, Gateshead this Friday 6th December. Ed treats his audiences to a mix of punk, country & Rock 'n' Roll mixed with humorous stories. The Fractured Valves will be starting the proceedings with their usual high energy ferocious country punk mayhem. It’s sure to be a memorable evening.

North East musician Russ Tippins and Shildon Civic Hall manager Paul Watson are very pleased to announce the third installment of RONINGTON - the annual all-day Rock concert in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. Last February the ten-band event raised over £4000 for cancer treatment & research.
The inaugural concert..., in February 2012, was put together by Russ to mark the first anniversary of the day his friend Ronnie Patchett lost his fight with cancer. Although intended to be a one-off event, Ronington was such a success that they had little choice but to do it all again the following year.
And so it continues. Next year’s date is set to be Saturday 22nd February. Once again, the venue will be Shildon Civic Hall, and of course all proceeds will go to The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation (NHS charity Reg. 1057213).
Tickets £10 are available now from the venue, and also online at www.ronington.co.uk
Featured bands:


The Three Tuns in Gateshead this week is celebrating 11 years of live music in which time they have hosted over 5000 live bands.
Paul emailed Riffs: This Wednesday we have Skinny Molly featuring Ex Skynyrd frontman Mike Estes - £7 on the door. The best live band I have ever seen.
Saturday night we are having a live music extravaganza with 4 quality bands headlined by Kimera but featuring a drinks giveaway to our customers on our anniversary. Everyone entering gets 3 free drinks - absolutely no strings attached.
1..A bottle of ice cold Stella
2..An Aftershock
3..A Cactus Jack
THEN....everything very cheap all night, 2002 prices including Stella and Bud at £1 and Jaegerbombs at £1.50.
Then on Sunday it's legendary punk rockers the UK Subs plus Gimp Fist £7 door.

The opening of the new music venue for solo and duo acts ie the Clarence Villa (ex Kicking Cuddy) Coxhoe has unfortunately been delayed by one week to Friday 22nd Nov so the first live act to play there will now be Gareth Beddard on Sunday 24th Nov from 7.30pm.

Teesside classic rock band The Rogues would just like to let everyone know that after much debating about whether or not to call it a day, it has been agreed that we are going to continue. Although not necessarily as The Rogues.  The band name may change, the music will be blues/rock rather than metal/rock, although lots of the old favourites will still be in there, and we will have a new guitarist (currently filled by Mr Dvd himself, Vaughan Lonsdale).  We are dead chuffed that Vaughan has agreed to play until we find the kind of guy that we are looking for. So if you're a local guy with the skill of Page, Moore, and Hendrix, have your own transport, and aren't looking to play any more than 1 or 2 gigs a month then give us a call on 07939 757226.(Bri)
Also, if any venue has booked The Rogues to play in 2014 then don't worry, we will be playing all of our gigs next year!

Skinny Molly featuring former Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Mike Estes play the Three Tuns in Gateshead on November 20th. Tickets available now at £7. First come first served.....

New Music Venue for Solo and duo covers acts The Clarence Villa (ex Kicking Cuddy) tel 0191 3773773, opens its doors to the public for food and drink from Friday 15th November. The first and ongoing music night is a Sunday 17th November and features Tom Atkinson with future Sundays currently booked - details on Riffs gig listings page.

Just heard today (28th) that Lou Reed has died, aged 71.

Update: The charity event held for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Breast Cancer Unit at the Stormont Main Club on Saturday 12th October was very well supported and a cracking night ensued.
The evening raised £3,300 for this very worthwhile cause with the possibility of more when the final tally is counted.
Every CD of the band sold on the evening went into the charity pot and resulted in £90.
This was a sterling result on the night, of which the band are justifiably proud.
Regards.Frankies Cafe

The Force are happy to announce that we have recruited a new frontman and will become a 5 piece in the near future .
The new recruit is none other than ex Damage Control / Slip of the Tongue singer Ian "Bill " Hornsby .The new line up is in the early stages of rehearsals but hope to be up 'n' running relatively quickly. The band will continue with the current set up in the meantime. We'd like to welcome Bill on-board and if early rehearsals are anything to go by he's certainly going to add a new dimension to the band.We are sure he'll get a great welcome from all followers of The Force.

1970s Folk Rock band The Acoustic Strawbs are making a rare north east appearance later this month when they appear at the Forum Music Centre in Borough Road. Darlington on Saturday 26th October. Original members Dave Cousins, Dave Lambert and Chas Cronk will be playing all their best know material - acoustic style. Tickets priced £11 are available from the venue on 01325-363135. The Strawbs are Britain’s most successful international progressive folk-rock band. Having emerged from the British Folk movement in the late 1960s, the Strawbs created complex and intricate songs. Front man Dave Cousins has been described as the most talented Dylan-like songwriter to come out of Britain.

For the third consecutive year FOUR LETTER WORD will be playing a gig in support of St Cuthberts Hospice, Durham.
This year's event is being staged at a larger venue, Sherburn Village WMC and will take place on Friday 25th October. There will be a raffle and plenty of opportunity to part with some cash for this great cause.
We will be joined on the evening by fledgling rockers Organised Confusion and solo singer Cookie.
Tickets - £3 are selling well, we hope to sell out so any support will be extremely welcome.


After 5 long years of being apart, this region's only 'progressive rock' tribute band, Prognosis, have reformed and are playing a special comeback show at The Office in South Shields. Featuring members from the classic line-up, Paul 'Moose' Harris on lead vocals, Kev Jager on drums, Roy Clinton on bass, Paul Boydel on guitar, and John Lewis on keyboards. They will perform a selection of songs from the masters of 70s prog-rock, including Genesis, Yes, ELP, Kansas and Pink Floyd, as well as some of the acts from more recent years such as Spock's Beard, Porcupine Tree and Big Elf. This is taking place on Sunday the 22nd of September in the upstairs function room. It's 'FREE entry', and the band would personally like to invite as many people as possible (old fans & new) to come along and join in with their festivities. Doors open at 7pm, and the band are due to start their first set at 8:15pm. It's going to be a full-scale event with 6K PA system and large lighting show providing the production touches to give this performance a top-quality vibe.

first response to your site:
Me n the lads have been following Witchkraft for a while now, when we first saw them we were greatly impressed by their talents, (this was pre Graeme on keyboards), we immediately hit it off with the band members and have become good friends with all of Witchkraft. When cpt morgan and his hammond organ came into the band, we saw their first gig in Dr Browns and were blown away, (we travel from Wallsend), so we knew given a bit of time they would become quite awesome, and we have been rectified in our beliefs, as this band are now second to no-one. This line up would fit in any big venue and give a truly brilliant night of music to those who love rock as it should be played, with passion and power, Micks vocals are quite awesome and the way the band gel is top notch, Mal is very talented and a wizzard on the guitar, Graeme on keyboards was the perfect missing piece of a work of art, Roy (the coolest man in rock) on bass is just perfect and Cliff on the heart of the band (drums) is just 2nd to none, please if you are able to post this mail on your site as i BEG people to go out of their way to watch this band, we are trying to push this band for more gigs in the Wallsend, North Shields, and surrounding areas, as we have no problems traveeling to see them, but it is better right on your own doorstep. The lads played The Wooden Doll in North Shields a while back and the place was jumping, please more local gigs. Witchkraft ARE worth a visit, to any true rock fans who love power rock, get yersels doon and you will not be one bit let down.
Baz, Smig and Younga

A Riffs review:  SUNDAY, AUGUST 25
No disrespect to super axe-man Mal, but Witchkraft did have a reputation for being...... shall we say..... less than exciting. Don't get me wrong, they were all competent musicians in their own right but that spark, that special 'something' that a band just has to have to gain followers and get talked about was lacking.
Mal admitted he was soft: "I just didn't have the heart to get rid of anyone, I waited for people to leave.' So Witchkraft just festered in the musical swamp of mediocrity.
UNTIL NOW. Mal has surrounded himself with some of the most talented, exciting, dynamic musicians Riffs has seen or heard and the band truly has come of age.
Their performance last night at the Tuns was nothing short of f**king awesome. I stared (and listened) in disbelief, taken aback at what this band had become. Talk about that flat chested, spotty faced geeky girl you went to school with turning into a gorgeous, hourglass-figured sex-bomb - Witchkraft just has to have sold its soul to the Devil in return for the stunning powerhouse it has become.
Not just that, but their style and delivery was frightening. Who would dare teasingly stop at the end of a classic song just before the closing few drumbeats and then refuse to continue unless the crowd shouted out the chorus over and over till the band was satisfied? Like when you're reaching the point of no return and the girl stops and says: 'Tell me who's the dirtiest, sexiest little bitch you've ever had eh? Is it me? Is it me?'  'Yeah, yeah, it's you alright, come on, come on.....'
'Light in the Black' just blew me away, the power and guts of that track was phenomenal. A superb tour de force. But then several songs the band did were a superb tour de force. They set their own bar so bloody high from the beginning I thought they'd shot themselves in the foot - but they just kept outdoing themselves song after song - I really just could not believe it...............

"They started off at the level that most bands finish - and then just got better"

the other night played superbly. They did justice to Zep tracks without question - but Witchkraft just popped that bar up a notch then took it with ease. Mind you, I say 'with ease' because that's how they made it look. But I dread to think of the months and months of rehearsing that it took to get to this stage. Trust me lads, every bloody, sweaty minute has paid dividends.
'Starstruck', 'Mistreated' - didn't just capture the dynamism and power of the originals but, dare I say it (dare, dare) improved them with that spark and freshness that only a live band could impart.
As the drummer told me between sets: 'We've got something a lot of bands have lost - passion'.
And the voice on the singer!!!! - knocks nearly every other vocalist into a cocked hat.
Just when you think the new Witchkraft could be a one-trick pony they launch into one of the most covered songs by AC/DC - Highway to Hell. And blow it sky high. Once bands hear Witchkraft covering this they will most likely drop it from their set. Now THIS is how it should sound. With balls.
Anyway, I'm done enthusing. Although they suffered some minor technical problems towards the end of the set they were magnificent, awesome (oh, I haven't done enthusing then). But don't take my word for it, let's face it, this is just my opinion. Get along and see them and let me know what YOU think.
Like I said: If you thought you knew Witchkraft - think again.

And a mensh to the two Tuns regulars who gave some input into where they think Riffs has been lacking recently; didn't have time to talk to Bully, always a next time though; and also to mine host Paul who, again, was not a landlord, he was a very naughty boy!
Oh, nearly forgot - the pizzas (yeah, I had two of the little tinkers) were gorgeous. Innovative idea Paul - great bands and great food. Let's hope other landlords follow your lead.
Think I'll move to Gateshead.


A Riffs review:  SATURDAY, AUGUST 24

Riffs seems to have been bitten by the Bank Holiday rock bug and to stave off the craving of Three Tuns pizza I jumped into the trusty Riffsmobile and headed for Dr. Browns in Middlesbrough to catch the much-gigged Feed the Bear.
Sometimes I find it much more exciting when you don't know what to expect (but we better not go there) and Feed the Bear fell into that category - but I was not to be disappointed, in fact, completely the opposite cos the band turned out to be thoroughly and deeply entertaining. From the off the singer and frontman (and if you do not completely understand the difference between the two then this band is a must) spearheaded a loud, brash and in yer face
performance including covers by AC/DC, Free, Lizzy, Cooper, Nazareth and etc. I remember many moons ago watching a band covering AC/DC and then trying, and failing miserably, to do a Free song. Now, I have no musical background as such, but if you have the type of sound that can create a 'feel' of AC/DC then surely you haven't a hope in hell of that same set-up capturing the bluesy dynamic of Free. Feed the Bear, cleverly, do not try to identically recreate the sound and feel of the artists they cover. They give them their own 'Bearsy' touch and surprisingly they did manage to do justice to both AC/DC and Free. They did a song about being 18 which may have been '18 goin' on crazy' but I think I got that wrong - you have to rely on your memory as whipping out a pen and paper at a gig causes some odd reactions. And my memory is not all that good; I sometimes forget what a bad memory I have.
A talented and observant frontman, he sang "Don't believe me if I tell you, that I
wrote this song for you" through the pub window to a surprised girl waiting at the bus stop directly outside. It's snatching opportunities like that, that makes a gig memorable.
He never let up trying to get the less-than-capacity crowd involved although I'm sure I could see in his eyes: 'tough crowd'. But credit where it's due, despite the lacklustre response, he gave his all and surely, five hundred or just five, you gotta do it.
The superb frontman commanded attention, but let's not forget that without the rest of the band he would fall flat on his extrovert face in seconds. Musically, too, an excellent and dare I say faultless performance from the rest of the band
and a spesh mensh must go to the drummer who not only had to take his t-shirt off even before he began playing but, even without camera in hand, was always a blur! Unfortunately no pictures of him cos I didn't take my quality Nikon, only my small pocket digital which, embarrassingly was not quite up to the job tonight. So much for trying to be unobtrusive!!
In a nutshell then - a band to liven up any venue. I was going to call them 'a party band' but that would devalue them greatly. A band to turn any night INTO a party. Now that's more like it.
Purple and pizza tonight (Sunday) at the Tuns - yummy!                    Nige

Air guitars at the ready............1-2-3-4

I just wanted to let everyone know i am starting a brand new blues and rock club for the newcastle area.............
it will be known as "the Newcastle Blues / Rock club" and based at forest hall ex servicemen`s club, crescent way, forest hall, newcastle. (the legion)
the first gig will be with The Ryan McGarvey Band USA and supported by local band the Hookah``s.... www.ryanmcgarvey.com tickets £8 adv and £10 otd.  our intention is to bring in top class touring bands form the uk, europe and america as well as having local blues / rock bands as support......we have a great venue with a 220 capacity, excellent views to the large stage, 2 tier seating and cheap beer...........we also have a big pa and lighting rig.
our second gig will be on 30th december with Ex Scorpions guitarist Uli John Roth and his new band plus The Russ Tippins Electric band as support..........ticket costs tba
more top bands to be announced soon.................tickets for the monthly shows will vary depending on who is playing and all profits will go towards setting up a newcastle blues / rock festival in 2014. .we are a not for profit group and all monies raised will be reinvested for future gigs..............
our intention is to promote young local bands too and these will feature as second support bands where possible on the bigger shows. most people know about the rock 4 all events we did at gosforth civic in recent years, tillyfest and ronnington................this will be run on a similar basis stage wise and we will endeavor to look after all bands who play............
we want to create a new venue for newcastle so please support this venure and pass the word to all your contacts.............
we have a fb page too and a web site is being arranged as i speak. on FB just type Newcastle blues / rock club......you`ll find us.
tickets for the gigs can be ordered at rock4allevents@sky.com
or by calling 07733002841 or from the venue soon

The Ox and Plough in Washington is starting to push its entertainment evenings and it has something for everyone: It has live bands on every Friday; Karaoke every other Saturday, and Buskers every other Monday.
Bands booked so far are: Kimera, FM, Trilogy, Big River, Nostalgic Fools, Reload, Born Again, Parish, Jo James Band, Uncle Gilbert, Whole Hog, Something Real. You can get up to date info from their facebook page (oxandploughwashington) and of course, here on Riffs Gig Listings page.

Well, there I was, standing at the box office after travelling to Newcastle to get my Airbourne tickets for December 4 at the Academy and noticing they were £17.50 face value. No problem with that, bought tickets many times from the venue where the concert is to take place and paid only face value.
"That will be £19 per ticket"
 "Eh, it says £17.50 on the ticket" says I.

"Ah, it's the booking fee."
"But I'm not booking it, you're just handing it over to me!"
"Just the same, I have to charge you £19 a ticket."
No point in getting mad with the guy but I was furious. So in reality as there is still no legislation to cover this - they could add £4, £7, or anything they damn well liked.
I'd love to be at the supermarket checkout when whoever came up with this blatant rip-off money-making idea was paying for his groceries.

"Oh yeah, it may say £48.50 on your receipt, but................................"

Just need to point out a last-minute change for this Friday 2nd as The Star Spangled Chestwigs are replacing the Reet Hot Chili Peppers at the Three Tuns in Gateshead.

Contraband, one of the northeast's top rock & blues outfits are very pleased to announce that the one and only Mr Keith Satchel (ex Black Rose and The 4 Kinnells), has graciously agreed to be the new heartbeat of the band. With years of experience playing drums for almost everyone who is anyone, we are sure that his contribution will lift the band to new heights. Welcome aboard..........here we go !!!!!
A one......a two......a one two three four !!!!!

Riffs band review

Swelteringly hot Saturday, village fair up the road (well, aways....) and a band on to boot. And Val (remember her?) on a one-day visit to the North-East. Just had to check out Sheikh Ya Mojo playing in the courtyard of The Dun Cow in Witton
le Wear yesterday (July 13th). It was dead on three when the lads took their positions and kicked off what was to be two long sets. Anyone looking could always tell if Val and myself are impressed - after the first song we just turn and look at each other - saying nothing, but with THAT look on our faces. And so it was, these guys knew their blues, early stuff from the likes of Muddy Waters and even impressing with their own compositions which were incredibly tight and infectious. In fact, the whole sound was surprisingly tight and sharp with that rounded edge you expect from a blues set up. I'm sure Val read my mind when she said "Y'know, listening to this, these guys could easily do any track off Zeppelin's first album". And indeed, criminally, they didn't. I certainly don't think the vocalist would have had any problems at all with the range required. They also sported an incredibly impressive slide guitar so reminiscent of a band I play all too much - and I'll drop that name in later on - and some gorgeously generous bass play coupled with drumming that never missed a beat - certainly not that I could tell any way, these guys gave the distinct impression they were on a world tour of all the major cities but, just for the day, as a one off, they were doing this little fair - as a favour like..............
Rock and Metal, we can hold our own but we are not into the blues where we
can just run off all the bands and blues legends these guys covered but I know a good, tight sound when I hear it (at one time I closed my eyes and I swear I could have been listening to a cd!) and I can tell when guys know their stuff and are not just seeing if they can blag it for a set or two. Unfortunately, myself and Val's stomachs were crying out for sustenance and, not being able to avail ourselves of a decent meal in the village, we hot footed it to the George and Dragon in Heighington (yep, Val and I appreciate a good meal as well as a good band!).
Sheikh Ya Mojo impressed on every level - none more so than the sound man who not only deserves praise for a spot on solid sound, but also for his choice of t-shirts - Rose Tattoo.

This Saturday 29th June marks the official launch of the new Fractured Valves CD with a big hillbilly hoedown at The Schooner Inn, Gateshead. The CD will be available to buy for the first time ever and at the bargain price of only a fiver! There will be free gifts for everyone who turns up, prizes for the best dressed cowboy/cowgirl and the pub is even brewing us our very own beer Fractured Valves Cowbilly Ale which will be available on the pumps on the night.

For anyone who can’t make it to the launch party the album will be available to buy at future gigs (if there are any left) and it can also be bought as a digital download via the band’s website www.thefracturedvalves.co.uk

North East Diamond geezer
Pat McMahon talks to Riffs
about life, the universe
and everything -
- oh yeah, and his debut album.

click here

The gerry jablonski band are passing through the area at the end of september and are available for a couple of gigs on friday 26th sept and sunday 28th sept for local shows in the north east.they are a top touring band in the uk and europe and want to fill a couple of dates as they come through.....the will do a deal on price and are looking for venues.........call me on 07733002841 or email rock4allevents@sky.com for info.....gerry headlined tillyfest a while ago and they are a cracking band live

Hi there, any bands booked to play the Bay Horse in Bishop Auckland can you please contact Bradley asap on 01388 609765 to confirm booking as i have misplaced my diary.

Blitzallica Festival featuring Diamond Head, The Amorettes, Dumpy's Rusty Nuts, Old Corpse Road, Holosade, The Side Project and more.

Saturday 25th October 2014
Shildon Civic Hall, Shildon, DL4 1AH

doors open 4pm
till late.

Tickets available from the venue priced £20.00 per ticket.

In support of
the Great North Air Ambulance

Buskers with full band set up now on every Tuesday at The Last Orders, Concord Front Street Washington. Full band set up, including a six piece drum kit, keyboards and full PA system. Every Tuesday night, starts around 9pm.

Blitzkrieg will kick off our 2014 European Tour in our hometown of Newcastle at Trillians Rock Bar on Sunday 7th September before heading into Europe for 12 shows in 12 days moving through Germany Switzerland and Italy in support of our latest album 'Back From Hell' which was officially released on November 5th 2013 on the Metal Nation Records label worldwide.  Joining us on the bill at Trillians for the night are our friends ...The mighty DRUGANAUT who will be onstage approx 8pm with Blitzkrieg following around 9.15pm

The Cross Arms is starting a new Live Music night this Thursday 17th (formerly Douglas Vaults, same owner new name!). This night will be showcasing new musicians from around the area and will present up to 3 different acts each week, similar to the night we used to have on around 2006/2007.

The White Lead Hebburn has decided to add a new decking area outside as well as an extra solo / duo music night from Saturday 5th April starting with the Stacked Actors duo  playing live from 8pm, this follows on from the usual Friday night gig featuring on the 4th April Jamie Farrell - also from 8pm - so 2 gigs per week plus buskers night every other Thursday, next one is 10th April with Dave Lynas. 


On the afternoon of Sunday 1st June we are holding a charity family music event in aid of Kayshill Animal Sanctuary. We would like bands, solo, duo and acoustic performers, there will also be hot and cold food,childrens rides, stalls,we also have a fantastic venue in Chilton WMC with large stage, and professional light and sound set up. If anyone is interested in being a part of this event in any way please get in touch , call Paul 07432510400


This Friday 21st March we have the Tony Liddle Band at The Tuns in Gateshead - which has been included in The Guardian's 100 best secret venues. Not only is owner Paul cockahoop at this acolade but the paper is sending a team to cover the show this Friday. It would be great if a few extra folk came out to see what after all is a superb rock covers band - and of course show the southern softies just what a proper rock crowd is..........

Just had an email from those Witchkraft boys letting us know that not only is the Barley Mow in Chester le Street back open again but the venue is rapidly filling its gig diary with quality rockin' bands. The new management is putting on live music every Saturday and chief axe-man Mal from Witchkraft wants to be the first to set the ball rolling for the collection for the new roof. The guess is they will need one from June.
Mal also says the band are really looking forward to playing there - about June.....

The White Lead
Hebburn is re-starting its fortnightly Thursday Buskers night from 8.45pm on 27th March with Ani Sandwith hosting the first night. All buskers are welcome and will earn a free pint for a performance!

Teesside 80s metal band FAST KUTZ will be one of the headliners at the north east's premier metal festival BROFEST 2 this weekend. The band had an album out called Burnin' in the late 80s which gained critical aclaim from Ozzy Osbourne and have reformed especially to play at Brofest 2. The band lineup is Kenny Nicholson - Lead Guitar
Keith Davison - Lead Vocals
Paul Fowler - Drums
Ian Gillson - Rhythm Guitar/vocals
Kiko Rivers - Bass Guitar/vocals
As well as playing tracks off the Burnin album and a new Fast Kutz song , the band will also be playing songs from Kenny Nicholson's other 80s rock bands - Holland and Hammer. The band will will take the stage at 10pm on Saturday March 1st.
Brofest takes place at Northumbria University, Newcastle this Fri/Sat/Sun this weekend  and it attracts fans from all over the world. Check out http://www.brofest.co.uk for full details, info, tickets etc

Ask Ruby
Band have launched a new updated website which is still work in progress however it provides the basics at this stage take a look they are also now on facebook and twitter links below


Two Tickets to see Dream Theatre at Wolverhampton Civic Hall on February 15th. Excellent seats absolutely gutted to be selling but must.  Were £55 each will take £35 each or make me an offer
Craig: 07861711267

Solo singers needed in Durham area.

We have organised a "Help For Heroes" evening at Framwellgate Moor WMC (near Durham) on Friday February 28th.

The group Mystified will be playing, but we are wondering if any solo singers would like to pop in to sing a couple of songs.

All the PA equipment will be there, just bring your mini-disc.

All the money is going to "Help For Heroes", so there will be no payment, but it could be good exposure for your act.

It's a great cause.

Please contact Kev 07445405977 or Richie 07836786479

The Ballbreakers are the new band formed by Ex Venom/Cronos guitarist Jim Clare.

The band could be described as "ZZ Top meets Steel Panther" and plays a varied set of original Rocking Boogie and Classic standards.

Joining Jim on bass is Pete Green and on Drums Matty Wilson.

For bookings contact Jim on 07884161827

Just discovered an online petition ran by Which? concerning exhorbitant ticket booking fees. A good way to voice your opinion if you think they are a rip off. Please sign to try and do away with this blatant act of daylight robbery....

There will be a gig in aid of The Bubble Foundation UK at Shildon Civic Hall on Sat Feb 15th February. There will be 3 acts performing on the night, Acoustic Weller + Rock/Punk/Pop covers band Four Letter Word + top Mod/Indie rockers The Scandals. Tickets are priced at £10 are available from the venue - tel:01388 772902. The Bubble Foundation is a fantastic cause based at the RVI in Newcastle and provides vital funds. The unit is a centre of excellence that works to save the lives of babies born without an immune system.


“THE TWIST OF THE WRIST” Tour February 2014. Legendary Rock drummer Carl Palmer, best known for his work with EMERSON LAKE & PALMER, will be on tour throughout the UK in February 2014. Acknowledged to be the finest drummer in the Rock field Carl joined with Greg Lake and Keith Emerson to form ELP in 1970 and went on to enjoy numerous World tours and Millions of record sales. ELP were one of the biggest rock acts around but due to a variety of reasons the band have now disbanded.
Carl Palmer was determined however to keep the Legend that was Emerson Lake and Palmer alive and is now touring as “Carl Palmers ELP Legacy” – a stunning three piece band that play the best of ELP including the likes of BARBARIAN; HOWDOWN; TARKUS and parts from PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION.
Expect a dazzling show from one of the great drummers of all time who is joined by two virtuoso players in PAUL BIELATOWICZ on guitar and SIMON FITZPATRICK on bass.

12 February 2014. Carl Palmer's ELP Legacy. The Cluny, Newcastle. Tickets £17.50

UFO doing a few gigs in March
19th March - England - Leamington Spa - The Assembly
20th March - England - Warrington - Parr Hall
21st March - England - Sheffield - 02 Academy

After being told constantly that she looks like Cher, Lara from American Girl has decided to be Cher. Love Cher is her new tribute show which brings a Vegas style show to the Northeast. The glitz and glamour of the mega Diva will be captured in this show, with lights, hand detailed replica costumes, a Vegas backdrop and of course the deep sexy vocals to complete the act. Her first scheduled performance is at Thornaby Sports and Leisure Club on New Years Day 8pm, and she is now available for bookings . Please see the website for details. http://www.lovecher.com

The Lambton Worm (North Road, Chester le Street) is staging a one off movember charity 50/50 act (Julie and Dave) / Buskers Open Mic night on friday 29th Nov starting around 8.30pm in the bar area. Dave Ridley and Julie Storey will be performing as well as providing buskers a chance to perform. A free pint of Sonnet 43 ale will be given to any busker that performs, there also will be the odd few nibbles on the bar. Please come along enjoy and support this worthwhile men`s charity (link to charity site below).

New buskers night starting in Bishop Auckland this Thursday and continuing every Thursday from 8.30 till 11.

It’s at Bar Tutsters (formerly Bar None) in Fore Bondgate.

Acoustic guitars and PA provided but anyone who wants to bring their own instrument along please do so. Mainly acoustic based but if we have anyone wants to play a bit of electric we can cater for it.

Journey 2 Toto, as the name suggests, are a tribute to both the AOR bands Journey & Toto, playing a selection of song material from both acts' back-catalogue. This 6-piece band are based in the midlands and are especially travelling up to the north east for this show. No advance tickets are available for this event but there is a £5 door fee which, for a theatre-style band of this calibre, is very reasonable indeed. It will be a spectacular 2-hour performance with a large sound system and stunning light show. And as the band seldom play in this region, then for any fan of AOR music then this is a must-see gig. This coming Saturday, 23rd of November, at The Office in South Shields (78 Victoria Road, NE334NQ).

JIAB are doing a special charity gig on Sat 16th November at Kibblesworth Working Mens Club for the Rainbow Trust. This is a charity that provides support for terminally ill children and their families. Tickets are £3 and are available on the door. Start time is 8.00 and as well as the band there is an illusionist and DJ.

FREE PINT of Sonnet 43 ale for selected performing buskers on the new Buskers (fortnightly) night at The White Lead commencing 7th Nov at around 8.45pm. The buskers night will be hosted by various well known acts kicking off with Jen Stevens and Dave Ridley, so go along and enjoy!

Legendary NWOBHM band Fist have reformed. Line up; Glenn S Howes vocals/guitar, Dave Irwin guitars/vocals, Norman Appleby bass/vocals and Harry Hill on Drums.  The band will be “turning the hell on with a vengeance” in 2014 and are currently rehearsing and have gigs booked for 2014 in the UK and Europe. Fist are also under negotiations for a local gig in the near future. A new Fist website is under construction. For any enquiries please email gore.pain@talk21.com.

Just a mention of a Buskers Night at the Washington Arts Centre this coming Friday night 18th October 2013. Pete Peverley will be running a buskers night with a theme of country rock music, this will be a night to dedicate to his dad Peter Peverley, who sadly passed away a year ago, if you did not know Peter he was a , Great Husband, Father ,Brother and Grandfather, and Great Friend , (my best) too so many , but he was also a great singer in the sixties and seventies with bands such as The Casuals, The Carousels, and the Petron Duo. Also he was a great follower of local bands ,and singers. Members of Big River will be doing a special tribute featuring Peters son, Pete Peverley, a real artist in his own right, so if anyone who would like to come along for a great nights entertainment and to get up and do a song or two are very welcome, or just come and listen. see you there .

It's that time of the year again, The Three Tuns annual charity event in aid of The QE Hospital women's cancer ward. For those unaware, every time around Christmas we put on a huge charity event over 2 days to raise funds to help improve the north east regional women's cancer centre at The Queen Elizabeth hospital. Everything we raise is then matched by the staff at Barclays bank Low Fell. In past years we have raised massive amounts, usually around £2500, this year however we have set ourselves a target of £3000! If we fall short of our goal WE the staff at the three tuns have agreed to bridge the gap with our Tips that usually pay for our Christmas night out. SO.....this is where you come in, over the weekend of 21st and 22nd December we require any acts willing to donate their time and talent even if just to play a 30 minute set. if you think you can help out please send a message to Paul on here and we'd be happy to fit you in. Also if you have anything to donate for use in the Raffles or Auctions it wold be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading and see you all there!
Read more: http://biggingergitsgigpit.proboards.com/thread/66902/bands-needed?page=1&scrollTo=616139#ixzz2hi0P8X78

Skinny Molly, featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd's former guitarist Mike estes play Skynyrd and Southern classics intermingled with some fantastic self penned tunes. Molly are undoubtedly The class act of The Tuns yearly offering (and that's saying something). This show will blow you away. i know a lot of local music folk include Skinny Molly at The Tuns as their all time favourite pub gig, steve gilroy, Bully, Ian, Blackfoot norm I think and certainly me amongst others. freebird will blow you away although my personal highlight is always Simple Man, it's spinetinglingly good.
Supported by local favourite Bad Bob Bates and his cigar box amongst others this should be a night to remember, I can't wait being honest. look out for a duet BBB and Estes himself doing Stones classic Dead flowers, i'm gonna make it happen.
Anyone thinking estes is anything other than a serious Rock N roll hall of fame great is pretty much certain to be relying on hearsay, see this charasmatic fantastic fropntman up close and personal with his stunning band for £7 is about as good a deal as it gets i reckon.
Next Friday Ian Stewart has put together a great show at The Tuns featuring Powerage (easily the best AC/DC tribute I've ever seen), Russ Tippins and Karma Heart. Tickets are just £4 and as part of the auction we're offering 4 tickets to Skinny Molly including taxis in and home plus free drinks all night, all in aid of his smashing and very talented daughter Emily. Come along and bid.

Eazy Over are pleased to announce the release of their second album. Eazy Over are an Americana/Country Rock band, hailing from Sunderland: Stevie formerly of the Smith and Jackson band among others and Dogg formerly of Cirkus and many other bands and with American Singer, Lara Dubov. The Album Rattlesnake Pie features contributions from Jimmy Smith who will also tour with the band and can be purchased on Itunes iTunes - Music - Rattlesnake Pie by Eazy Over or by contacting the band on Facebook EAZY OVER or Reverbnation EAZY OVER Music, Lyrics, Songs, and Videos for hard copies.

The White Lead in Hebburn is featuring solo and duo acts to kick off its live music nights. The pub opens 4th October after a major refit and introduces a new `live` music night every Sunday commencing 6th October starting at 7.30pm. Sign up to Facebook link to receive updates https://www.facebook.com/sonnet43thewhitelead
A `great act` featuring `The very strong voices of `The Tea Larks` duo (Jen And Kate) play the opening night singing a mix of pop and rock covers with some other great acts lined up for the weeks ahead.
Tea Larks link https://www.facebook.com/TheTeaLarks
The White Lead, Blackett Street, Hebburn NE31 1ST, tel 4894656

THE AMAZING KAPPA - live review
MBOX, Renshaw Street, Liverpool. Sunday 22nd September 2013
It has been a little while since I had the pleasure of catching the Amazing Kappa live so a trip over the Pennines was in order. I have been lucky enough to catch the magnificent Paul Kappa in venues such as the Cavern Club, The Cavern Pub both in Mathew Street, Liverpool and at the Three Tuns in Gateshead At all these gigs Paul was accompanied by the superb Martin Byrne on bass and Tony Smith on drums. So there was a touch of the unknown when I entered the Karaoke pub, MBOX, on Renshaw Street just off Liverpool's city centre. This new pub was an unusual mix of a "Live Music" room and private "Karaoke" rooms, to hire and was small and intimate. The staff are very friendly and made all customers feel very welcome. The venue was not the only new experience of the evening as it was my first opportunity to see The Amazing Kappa's new rhythm section. Paul was joined on stage by Laura Gilchrist on drums and backing vocals and Maria Hughes on bass, eventually, and also backing vocals. The evening kicked of with Paul playing an acoustic section as Maria's bass had gone missing but she did join him for vocal duets. Laura came on stage to add a little beat to some of the songs which were very well played but the set really kicked into full gear when the band were able to play their electric set. As usual Kappa play a hugely varied set mixing Rock, soul, blues and even pop with Paul's own stunning original songs or as members of the audience were heard to shout all night " what a song". This was a very intimate gig and perfect for a Sunday night and Paul, as usual set up a great rapport with his audience. Paul Kappa is truly an outstanding artist and worth seeing at any venue you can catch him. The MBOX has a great sound system and is worth a visit if you are in the area. Paul usually plays Sunday evenings for about 3 hours starting at 7:30pm. If you see Kappa introduce yourself, he is a great bloke, and let him know he is always welcome on the east side of the Pennines.
all the best

Minnie E.P. launch is at The Head of Steam in Newcastle on Friday 4th October.

With a new line up and sound I cannot wait to share more of my original music. Recently, I headlined at The Cluny and have enjoyed participating in several local Battle of The Bands contests too.

Tickets can be bought in advance and E.P copies can be reserved. Contact minnieforrest@hotmail.co.uk

Calling all Air Guitarists: think you can beat this guy ?
Come join in the fun at The Three Tuns on Sunday 1st September at 7pm for what could turn out to be the party event of the year! Shots for all competitors, cash prize for the winners and sets from Warning and Mother Firefly to get you all in the mood, so come on down and rock out.
To enter please either register your interest with the bar, or speak to / send a Pm to Bully here : https://www.facebook.com/PMSbull

A Riffs review:  FRIDAY, AUGUST 23
FM are stalwarts of the North East live music scene and when you have them appearing at one of the region's best known pubs AND you have pizza on offer - then that is a combination that surely is too good to resist!!
Well, resist it Riffs just could not, so off to the Three Tuns pizza festival in Gateshead (on for four whole nights!) I trotted.
FM were playing one of their monthly Zeppelin nights where they concentrate on Plant et al and so you know exactly what to expect. Singer
Steve and the lads were pouring with sweat into only song two and he mentioned the fact the Tuns is a hot pub at the best of times but with pizza cooking away in the corner it was nearly unbearable. But somehow it was a winning combination - quality rock; gorgeous pizza; dripping sweat. The lads had a mass of Zep catalogue to choose from but how could you be disappointed with the superb musicianship of these guys coupled with Steve's phenomenal voice - I am convinced he would have been a perfect choice to carry on the work of Mr Scott himself should Brian have been unavailable.
Dazed and Confused was a corker of a cover, so was Heartbreaker, in fact, they did justice to all of Zep's work and also had a laugh doing it.
There was room for more in the Tuns and I found that rather strange considering what talent was on offer and the pizza was definitely some of the best I have tasted. Although a mid evening downpour may have put some people off, if I can travel a 60-mile round trip then surely the locals could support a venue where the landlord bends over backwards to try and give as much as he can to tempt people along...... use it or lose it!!! (reminds me, where did I put the number for that escort....)
Tonight (Sat) it's the Ska Toons and tomorrow it's the turn of Witchkraft doing a Purple set. I enjoyed it so much I may just pop along on Sunday as Mal plays that guitar like it's part of him. More rock, more pizza. Salivating just thinking about it......

This bank holiday weekend sees Gateshead's very first pizza festival at The Three Tuns, Sheriff Hill. We've sourced the finest local ingredients to create an absolutely fantastic selection of pizzas. To accompany the food we've also got a sterling lineup of local acts. Starting on Thursday 22nd with Blue Diamonds, it's been almost a year since these guys last played here as a full band and we're thrilled to welcome them back. Fronted by the incredible Pat McMahon this is the perfect way to begin our festival. Then over the course of the weekend, we'll have shows from FM playing Led Zeppelin (23rd) Ska toons (24th) and UK number one Deep Purple Tribute Witchkraft (25th).
If it's anything like our past festivals this will be an outstanding weekend so come on down!

Durham band Spectrum are on the cover disc of Classic Rock magazine - The Blues edition this month with one of their songs 'Hope you know'.

Classic Rock and Heavy Metal festival BROFEST

Back by popular demand! Once again the Classic Rock and Heavy Metal festival BROFEST will be returning to Newcastle upon Tyne in 2014 for more hip shaking and headbanging mayhem! This time the festival has expanded into a three day event and is set to be the biggest celebration of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal EVER!
And so once more, fans from all over the world will descend on the fantastic Northumbria University Students Union, a fitting location for a pilgrimage to the Mecca of NWOBHM!
The headliners on the closing night of BROFEST 2014 will be the mighty VARDIS, returning to the stage for the first time after a 27 year absence! These highly influential NWOBHM greats are back with the line-up of Steve Zodiac, Gary Pearson and Terry Horbury. VARDIS were well-known for their powerful live shows and are set to let loose on the BROFEST stage at 100MPH!
Of course with the wealth of Heavy Metal Heritage in the North East it's no surprise that there are plenty of other treats in store with 2014's line-up. Headlining the opening night will be Newcastle’s very own FIST! These Neat Records legends are performing a reunion show and promise to be “Back with a Vengeance”! Similarly, label mates WARRIOR, also from Newcastle will be playing on stage together for the first time in decades at BROFEST #2. Local heroes HOLLOW GROUND are back on the road and will be performing a special hometown show whilst Sunderland's SPARTAN WARRIOR make a welcome return to the BROFEST bill, having brought down the house at the first edition in 2013! After a storming opening to BROFEST #1 with BLACK ROSE, guitarist Kenny Nicholson is back with neck-breaking NWOBHM outfit FAST KUTZ! These guys will also be tearing through tracks from Kenny’s other past projects including Teesside greats HAMMER and HOLLAND! Cult legends DARK HEART also from the North East will be playing a rare one-off appearance - their occult Heavy Metal has influenced all sorts of modern artists, and they even appeared on one of Fenriz of Black Metal band DARKTHRONE's "Trapped under Vice" compilations!
Continuing with occult themes... RITUAL will headline Saturday night at BROFEST #2. A band steeped in history that never really got their shot at the big time, RITUAL have cultivated a huge cult following since their inception in the 70s and their comeback show at BROFEST #2 is going to be a very memorable occasion! PAGAN ALTAR also bring their unique brand of mystical Doom Metal to BROFEST, making their first trip to the North of England since their formation nearly 35 years ago. Equally no strangers to the European festival stage, JAGUAR are set to explode on the BROFEST stage with catchy riffs and high energy antics! Only Northampton’s finest SOLDIER will give them a run for their money in terms of raw power! Those familiar with London's British Steel festival will also remember GASKIN, who will be performing a special comeback show after a short hiatus. Once titans of the East Anglian airforce base circuit, Portsmouth’s very own TRUFFLE make their first trek to the North East, in their 35 year history! A very special moment at the first edition of BROFEST was the reunion show of BASHFUL ALLEY. These guys will be returning once more at BROFEST #2 to give everyone who missed them a chance to catch this very special band, whilst those who were there can relive the experience all over again!
And there are even more reunion shows in store for edition #2 - fast rockers SPARTA from Macclesfield are getting back together for this event, and emotions will be high during the set of Liverpool's DAMASCUS. One of the most highly anticipated shows comes from London's BERLYN, whose guitarist and bassist famously played alongside IRON MAIDEN's Adrian Smith in the highly-acclaimed Hard Rock outfit URCHIN. Following an explosive set with SCARAB in 2013, Paul Britton returns with TRAPAZZAT for a once in a lifetime show! Another addition, and providing a change of pace with some Speed Metal madness will be EVIL BLOOD! These Croatian Thrash Metallers relocated to the UK in the late 80s and even boasted legendary VENOM drummer Abaddon in their ranks at one point! Many will also remember former VENOM frontman Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan - Tony has a very special treat in store for the fans at BROFEST #2 and will be ripping through the entire “Future Warriors” album with classic Speed Metal outfit ATOMKRAFT!
BROFEST #2 will not only be a celebration of the rejuvenation that the bands of the NWOBHM movement are enjoying at the moment, but will also be a showcase for the wealth of young talent that is continuing to keep the Heavy Metal spirit alive. All eyes will be on the likes of DARK FOREST, ELIMINATOR, TOLEDO STEEL and ASCALON over the weekend. The special guests for 2014 are WITCHTOWER from Spain and Italy's RULER! These guys take the rocking power of early IRON MAIDEN and give it a fresh twist - if you like your Heavy Metal in the Traditional vein, these are the ones to watch!
BROFEST #2 takes place at Northumbria University Students Union from Friday February 28th to Sunday March 2nd 2014
Tickets for the event are a mere £25 each for the full weekend (that’s less than £1 per band!) and are on sale now - available at www.brofest.co.uk/tickets

Buffalo Four, the Middlesbrough-based four piece, have a last-minute booking at Sleepers in East Boldon tomorrow night (Saturday). They went down so well on a previous occasion the management of Sleepers were thrilled at being able to book them again for this short-notice gig. Find them on their new Facebook page which will have more info on there soon.


Hell seems to have frozen over, as The Bandits have a booking at The Magnesia Bank in North Shields, this Saturday 29th June. It's a fill in mind, but it's taken 21 years of trying. I suspect the pub will love us and ply us with sweet breads and cognac - or perhaps they won't! But what the hell we plan to show them how it should be done...........
It's an ashamedly long time since Riffs has seen the Bandits but one thing we do remember - ya get a bloody good night's entertainment. North Shields - feel pleasantly humbled.

So the conversations usually go like this, “Why aren’t you called Fizzyfish anymore? You look like Fizzyfish, you sound like Fizzyfish!”

…so after a healthy portion of deliberation we are doing the obvious and as we are Fizzyfish, we are now called Fizzyfish again!

Ian, Guitar (ex C90, Detention, Big Derek)

Alan, Traci and Soss (ex Fizzyfish, C90, Detention) doing what they have been doing…..

I hope I have been able to get my point over?

We have a new email address fizzyfishareback@live.co.uk and are on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/fizzy.fish.3

Cheers, Alan (Fizzyfish)

Legendary Free bassist plays the region for the first time in 38 years – headlines annual Free Convention!
Andy Fraser, the teenage rock prodigy and legendary bassist who co-crafted rock hits “All Right Now”, “My Brother Jake” and “Little Bit of Love” for blues-rockers Free, is to headline the annual Free Convention on Tyneside on Friday, August 2.
It will be the first time Fraser has played in the region since his Andy Fraser Band played Newcastle City Hall in 1975 and the Free Convention date at Tynemouth’s Park Hotel is part of a summer UK tour.
Free tribute band Freeway, widely-regarded as the top interpreters of Free music in the UK, are supporting Fraser at Tynemouth and it is believed Andy has agreed to join them for part of their set.
Fraser initially gained notice as a 15-year-old member of the John Mayall Bluesbreakers before shooting to fame as bassist and founder-member of Free in 1968. He forged a fine writing partnership with Middlesbrough-born vocalist Paul Rodgers and they hit the jackpot with “All Right Now” which became a rock staple in 1970 – and remains so to this day.
Free first commanded a mass following in the North East before widespread fame followed and there is bound to be massive interest in his return to Tyneside after such a long absence.
After Free first split in 1971 they reformed to help ailing lead guitarist Paul Kossoff but Fraser left permanently a year later just before the band finally disintegrated. He toured again - first with Sharks, featuring guitarist Chris Spedding, and later with the Andy Fraser Band, but he largely concentrated on writing post-Free. He crafted hit songs for both Frankie Miller (Be Good To Yourself) and Robert Palmer (Every Kind of People).
He remains most fondly remembered for his work with Free so the Park Hotel Free Convention promises to be a memorable night. For many years Fraser seemed content to leave his Free material to the memory banks but he started to play his old songs again in recent times and the new incarnation of the Andy Fraser Band will play some Free songs at Tynemouth – as well as Fraser helping out Freeway with their own take on the back catalogue.
Fraser has got back together with Spedding – a 70s hitmaker himself with “Motorbikin’” – and his tour line-up also includes up-and-coming U.S. singer-guitarist Tobi whose debut album “Spirit in Me” collected nine Grammy Award nominations last year.
Fraser recently said: “I feel now I have the family vibe I always looked for in a band – something really special.”
The Park Hotel gig is a real coup for Freeway who were also joined in 2007 at the same venue by Free’s original drummer Simon Kirke for part of their set.
Freeway lead guitarist John Buckton said: “It will be a real honour to play with Andy if he joins us on stage. I’ve met him before and he was very kind about our interpretation of Free’s music.
“It was a thrill to have Simon on stage in Tynemouth a few years back when he also joined us for a British tour and this promises to be just a thrill – I’m sure Free fans will love it too. Andy’s songs and rich, fluid playing were a vital part of the sound we all love.”
Free Convention organiser Bill Flynn added: “We always get a great reaction to Free’s music when we hold the Convention in the North East so to have Andy Fraser at Tynemouth is a dream come true for Free fans. We’re looking forward to a fabulous night – and it will be great to see what Andy is up to these days.”
The profits from the Annual Free Convention go to the North East Charity 'The Northern Brainwave Appeal'
Tickets are £15 and can be purchased by enclosing a sae and a cheque payable to Mr W Flynn and sent to 4 Mile end close, Foulridge, Colne, lancs BB8 7LD

Please can you place a message that I will be taken over the Royal Tavern in Blyth . If any bands have dates booked for the Royal Tavern can the contact me asap on 07944 618907 if you do not contact me unfortunately the gigs will be cancelled by the end of June . We have appointed S&P Promotions to deal with gigs and book bands on our behalf going forward.

We have a small pub called the Keel Boat in Fatfield Washington and we are starting Friday Night band night again. We are looking for rock bands playing the likes of Led Zep Thin Lizzie Deep Purple Ocean Colour Scene etc etc.
We have the following dates available and would like to know if any bands are interested in playing. Fee negotiable: 2nd August, 9th August, 16th August, 13th September, 27th September and also 4th October.

New band on the circuit, Clatterbones, put together by ex-member of the very highly regarded Disregard from Newcastle. Well after 10 years working solo on corporate shows and event with the likes of Amy Winehouse and Percy Sledge, Dan is back in the North East with a great bunch of lads doing the pub scene. All covers ranging from Robert Cray to Bowie. Dan told Riffs: 'We just had our first gig at The Berkeley Tavern in Whitley Bay on Saturday 1st June. Great turn out and just taken our next booking off the back of that gig for Friday 28th June at The Seven Stars in Ponteland.'  We’re a good mix of Rock and Blues; good tunes and looking to have some great nights. Until the website is built for the band - Contact details : 07789 400 707 for bookings or via www.danjamesonline.com