@ Head of Steam, July 21st 2016
Touring is never an easy business, and the perils of the road are very real – as Swedish outfit Normandie found out while traveling from Manchester to Newcastle for their Head of Steam show.
After suffering from a broken down van and a drive that took nearly nine hours, the four-piece arrived on stage understandably late, but with their customary impeccable style.
The release of RUSHONROCK rated 8/10 album Inguz marked a completely new chapter in the life of the band, who had previously been a talented hardcore band with a touch of Bullet For My Valentine and ISSUES about them.
The Head of Steam is an intimate venue, and lead singer Phillip Strand took that all into his stride as he apologised for the late start, told the crowd to ignore the curfew and even took the punters through a practise round of Fight, the first song on their new record, before launching into the gig properly.
With only one album of work to go from – the songs penned as their previous incantation have been abandoned – the show didn’t overrun by any noticeable margin – although Normandie did throw in a cover of Sia’s Chandelier, which is one of their most popular songs on Spotify.
This band must be poised for a mainstream breakthrough over the next few years. They’re well drilled, signed to a good record label and Strand and his bandmates Håkan Almbladh, John Löfgren and Jesper Malmberg are all excellent performers.
Normandie also bring the full album experience to the live setting through the extensive use of pre-programmed vocals to compliment Strand – and while some traditionalists might turn their nose up at the practise, it does allow the fans to enjoy the lyrics in a clearer way than some live settings allow.
This show was moved from the insultingly small Central to Head of Steam, which is still one of the smaller venues around the city. It would be of no surprise if four-piece graduated on to much larger things in a short period of time.