dear-superstar-papa@ Newcastle o2 Academy, December 11 2009

Brash tattoos, plenty of eyeliner and a tongue hanging out the corner of your mouth is a standard recipe for any Nu-Metal band.

And Dear Superstar seem to have the lot complete with an almost too cocky lead singer in Micky Satiar. What he may lack in vocal ability is certainly made up for with stage presence as he bounces around stage with maximum charisma. DS put in a solid performance and one that shows they won’t be also-rans forever.

Tonight’s main event Heaven’s Basement are clearly still relatively fresh from their recent support tour with American counterparts Papa Roach.

Straight from the word go they enliven the crowd with ostentatious energy levels as they stomp around the stage like angry wrestlers ready to defend their titles. HB, it turns out, are nothing if not entertaining.

With their 80s hair metal stage moves, a drummer who throws his left hand drumstick high into the air on average 3.89 times per song ( I counted) and excellent crowd interaction from lead singer Richie it’s difficult not be sucked into the first three songs of their set.

The more the show wears on however, the more you begin to notice the slightly forced Americanised banter (perhaps Jacobi Shaddix rubs off on you after a long tour) and the more you realise that the rhythm guitar player looks a bit like Pippin from Lord of the Rings.

HB have some great songs but at times too much posing for photos during songs sees their set descend into dated pantomime. It’s entertaining in a masturbatory kind of way but if Heaven’s Basement want to be taken seriously then they need to focus on developing their sound – not their photographs.

Mark Kelly