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Music Editorial

simontaylor18.jpg Local: Simon Taylor

This bloke striding purposely through the surf is Simon Taylor. And that purpose in full: to play a storming gig at the O2 Academy in Newcastle this April with his trusty band of fellow travellers, The Sundowners.

My interest is always going to be tweaked when I hear that someone is drawing their influences from Serge Gainsbourg, Leonard Cohen, Ennio Morricone, Durutti Column, The Rolling Stones, Lou Reed and David Bowie. What’s not to love among that lot? (And I’m also keen on Simon’s ‘Personal Interests’ which include biogs on Hollywood stars such as Robert Mitchum. Robert Mmmitchum, I call him.) Anyway. The Newcastle-based singer/songwriter certainly knows how to marshal these influences into a delectable package as he is able to pen beautiful string laden pop ballads such as Like You Do, which has the kind of cinematic sweep that really pulls you in, as well as sparky tracks that aren’t afraid to get up and party (I’m thinking Rio Dream, which has my derriere twitching along to its warm and breezy Latin-funk groove). He and the band are playing a special gig in the upstairs bit of the O2 Academy in April and it promises to be the kind of hometown kind show that warms your very cockles.

Simon Taylor + Tchotchke + Aukestra + Laurie Shepherd, Friday 20 April, O2 Academy, Newcastle, 6.30pm, £6. facebook.com/simonsundowners