SIMON SAYS: Gig review – Vinyl – Riverside Lounge, Stockton

Posted on: October 23rd, 2017

It’s not often you get two art forms on the same night in the same place, photography and live music, but that’s what each Vinyl event offers; an exhibition of photography in one half of the venue by local photographers, and three bands playing live in the other half.

I was looking forward to the third Vinyl, as I’d had to miss the first two and I’d heard good feedback from friends. It was held in yet another new gig venue in Stockton – The Riverside Lounge, which is the downstairs part of the excellent EDGE bar.

I arrived not long after doors opened and the room was half-full already with people buzzing around the exhibits or buzzing around setting up and soundchecking onstage. I didn’t recognise most of the people there, which to me is a good thing because it means more people coming out to join the live event community in Teesside. I did know a few people though, and it was good to catch up with some familiar faces, including co-organiser Ian Allcock, Lorraine Richardson, rockster Phil Smith, and our compere for the night Andi Grainger.

I had plenty of time before the first band was due on, so I perused the collections of photographs by Tracy Doran and Nichola Dektereff, with additional pieces of art from Lauren Elise and Lauren Duncan. The photos were all live action shots of bands onstage. Tracy Doran really captures the spirit of the live show with her work, managing to get the shot when the performer is the peak of their set. Nichola Dektereff’s pieces were more ‘arty’ shots, concentrating more on colours, tones and shades.

There were a few additional masterpieces including Lauren Duncan’s fantastic wall showpiece of a silhouetted girl and butterflies made from Vinyl records along with two portraits by Lauren Elise of Amy Winehouse and David Bowie, which had already sold before I’d finished my first drink.

Speaking of which I was impressed with the venue too; drinks are fairly priced, and the whole place has that basement feel to it with it’s low ceilings and pillars. Even though the place was packed there was still plenty of room to move among the artwork, and in the gig room it’s half-seating half-standing which seemed to suit everyone.

The first band, Singapore Safehouse, managed to draw in most of the people from the artwork area with their exciting songs. They seem more mature and stylish each time I see them play, although Jacob’s voice is not quite commanding enough to be heard over the band.

Hivemind were up next, a band I’d not seen before, coming all the way from Sunderland. They’re a female-fronted four piece that rock out with an edge. The songs are delivered with measured emotion, with each band member clearly displaying their individual prowess whilst at the same time gelling together well.

Twister finished the night off with a bang, as usual. The power-rock band have all the ingredients there to be superstars, and are gaining quite a following wherever they go.

I left with a big smile on my face, and I’m glad to have finally broken my Vinyl virginity. The whole event made me feel like I’d really got my money’s worth…..oh, wait, it was free entry! Even better!

The next Vinyl is on November 17th at The Riverside Lounge, Stockton and will showcase artwork from Neil Jackson, Janice Foley, Ian Allcock, and Lauren Duncan, with live sets from The Broken Broadcast, Marie Marx Band, and Run The River.

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