@o2 Academy 2 Newcastle 22/11/2016
For a band who are best known for two hits 13 years ago, Electric Six are incredibly prolific – they’ve produced 12 albums since their 2003 debut, Fire.
They’re also non-stop tourers and have come to Newcastle every year at around the same time, November or December, for the past six years at least.
And in doing so they’ve built up their own special following that cuts through all sections of society. A following that are happy to look past Gay Bar and Danger! High Voltage and see a group of talented musicians who have constantly reinvented and reinterpreted their sound over the past decade and a half.
It’s hard to tell who had more fun on the night, lead singer Dick Valentine or the crowd. Certainly, he fed off the expectations that Electric Six aren’t going to have the most serious of nights. It’s an expectation that Valentine thrived under.
But in an odd contradiction, the show was impeccable from start to finish and was the epitome of organised chaos. Valentine’s voice was strong, the guitar crisp and the Detroit rocker’s new-ish drummer Two Hand Bob was emphatic behind the kit.
Electric Six have been relegated from the main room in the Academy to the smaller upstairs venue, but that only seems to enhance the night as the crowd ended up closer to the action and are better placed to catch the careful idiosyncrasies of Valentine’s stage presence.
The band got through an impressive array of material in their hour-and-a-half slot, including rabble rousing Gay Bar and Danger! High Voltage – but some of their lesser known tracks competed with their bigger hits for biggest reception of the night.
Encore Dance Commander was particularly well received, while I Buy The Drugs and Improper Dancing all energised the Geordie faithful.
For the uninitiated, Electric Six’s performance might have seemed like the tired death throes of a subsistence band. But for those in the know, it was a vintage performance from a band that deserved far more recognition for a long and multi-faceted career.