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The Crack Magazine

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The Black Crowes at O2 City Hall

The Black Crowes last played Newcastle in 1992, and their return saw them on their ‘Happiness Bastard’ tour promoting the album of the same name. It felt like quite an event. Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, the band casually walked on stage to an impressive stage set up of piles of amps stacked high: the band and backing singers on two levels and singer Chris Robinson in a gold jacket strutting in front of a huge ornate gold mirror. Flying straight into new song ‘Bedside Manners’, Robinson's soulful voice sounded amazing. Engaging with the crowd he said he didn't want to sound arrogant but this was the smallest place they’d played in years, which was great as they could see the audience. The early songs had that Stones/Faces beat and new ones didn’t disappoint as one corker followed another. Highlights for me were ‘Sting Me’ and ‘Hard To Handle’ (an Otis Redding song) and I think everyone loved their cover of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Rocks Off’. They ended the night in fine style with encore ‘Good Morning Captain’. If you’re in the market for a night of stripped back and gritty rock ‘n’ roll, which is loud and very much in your face, then The Black Crowes are hard to beat. One of the best bands I've seen live in quite some time.

Jimmy Falcon