@ Newcastle Carling Academy, September 4 2008

After a sumptuous show leaning heavily on their new self-titled album it became clear Backyard Babies weren’t afraid to gamble.

And when axe hero Dregen emerged from the Academy stage door ready to hit the poker tables of Stowell Street that uber confidence shone through.

This year we’ve seen the likes of Leppard, Whitesnake and White Lion on Tyneside. All have hit the Toon with brand spanking new albums worthy of a live showcase.

And yet none has had the courage of their conviction and played more than a couple of previously unheard tracks.

What rushonrock loved about BB was their decision to delve into 2008’s sleaze rock standard and pick out the crown jewels of a frankly explosive record.

The band knows how good their latest album is. Perhaps it’s their best yet after two decades maturing into one of Europe’s premier acts.

At home in Sweden the music buying public sent it straight to number one after the first week of release.

And the rave reviews have kept on coming. Again and again and again.

Listening to live versions of F**k Off And Die, Degenerated, Come Undone, Idiots and Saved By The Bell (Nick Borg carried off this one solo to open a barnstorming encore) it was obvious why.

After 20 years spent treading the boards of clubs, concert halls and arenas across the world it seems 2008 could belong to Backyard Babies.

Name-checking Geordie faves Ginger and The Quireboys was canny enough. Whipping a crazy crowd into a frenzy by suggesting Nottingham’s BB fans were even noisier was a masterstroke.

This was a Newcastle rock night to remember and if you missed support act Crucified Barbara you missed out.

Just when rushonrock thought no girl band could challenge McQueen for our affections…. Over to you Leah.

rushonrock rated: 8/10 Oh Babies!