Motormouth of the Tyne
I’ve got nothing against Wolf Alice’s ‘Visions of a Life’ album but when they won last year’s Mercury Prize with it, it was the biggest travesty at an award ceremony since ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ beat ‘Do The Right Thing’ at the Oscars. In many people’s eyes South Tyneside’s Nadine Shah should have trousered the Mercury for her blistering ‘Holiday Destination’ album which addressed everything from xenophobia to the treatment of refugees (“There’s a fascist in the Whitehouse”). But her state-of-the-world address was not conducted at the expense of sonic innovation and these exhilarating, post-punk tunes, saw her drawing comparisons with the likes of PJ Harvey. She’s playing at the Playhouse in Whitley Bay as part of this year’s Mouth of the Tyne festival, which will also see The Proclaimers, Jack Savoretti, Sam Fender and Rick Astley all play outdoor gigs at the Tynemouth Priory and Castle. There’s plenty to recommend among that lot (especially The Proclaimers), but, for me, Nadine Shah is where it’s really at.