@Newcastle O2 Academy 2, 14 June 2016
The Virginmarys are an old school rock and roll band who don’t need a sharp tongue or witty banter to captivate an audience’s attention and hold it for an hour and 15 minutes.
In fact, Ally Dickaty hardly says anything to the crowd. He doesn’t need to, because they’re hooked from the first song.
When you’ve been crowned as the Classic Rock Best Breakthrough act, there is always going to be a lot of hype to live up to – and when you produce a RUSHONROCK Rated 10/10 second album, the material to produce a cracking show is going to be available.
Dickaty and his crew of Danny Dolan behind the drums and Matt Rose on the bass didn’t disappoint as they raced through all of the smash hits from the band’s first two albums, Kings Of Conflict and Divides.
You know a band are giving their all to the performance when the drummer has to tape up his fingers three quarters of the way through the set and that sort of frenzied energy from Dolan set the tone for the whole night.
It’s been three years since The Virginmarys played on Tyneside and in that time not a lot has changed in terms of the threesome’s on-stage style – except now they have a lot more material to complement Dickaty’s laid back but but raw and powerful delivery.
Despite their second LP being out just over a month, the band’s set was dripping with the best tunes from it. Halo In Her Silhouette, Into Dust, Falling Down and Free To Do Whatever They Say all got some much needed airtime, and the crowd revelled in it.
That doesn’t mean that the old favourites from Kings of Conflict were ignored. Oh no. Dead Man’s Shoes, Portrait of Red, Just a Ride were all played and the all time favourite – and the song that probably got most of the audience into The Virginmarys – Bang Bang Bang, was saved until the end.
Rock music can bring people from all ages and backgrounds together, as the baby girl wearing ear defenders, sat on her father’s shoulders, testified. By the end of the show, stranger and friend were intertwined, dancing like nothing else mattered apart from the final chords of Motherless Land.