@ Newcastle Hyem, October 12 2010

If support bands rarely deliver the pre-gig warm up you’re looking for then Colt 45 and Riff X – opening up for headliners Shush – were the exception to that rule.

Colt 45, a three piece hailing from Cumbria, improve on every viewing. They’re unfussy, clean, punk rock and that’s no bad thing.  Sounding like a 90s YoYos, with a vocal growl comparative to that of Mike Ness from Social Distortion, they belted the tunes out even though the audience was a little slim.  The band boast killer hooks and catchy choruses and These Unspoken Arguments is definitely the track you take home humming long after they’ve packed up and moved on.

Riff X formed only in February still have that feel of a band rich in raw, untapped talent. As a female fronted rock and roll band pulling in some Santana-esque guitar sounds they’re full of energy and enthusiasm. And while they might not be the tightest band on the stage you can definitely feel the potential: keep an eye on this lot and watch them grow.

And so finally we welcomed Shush to the Hyem stage. Another female fronted rock band with a reputation for foot tapping melodies and aggressively crunchy rock tunes.  Fronted by Milena Yum (how appropriately named!), whose former band incarnations include UV-painted, attitude toting Antiproduct and the girl power, hey ho in high heels version of the classic punk outfit of the Ramones: The Ramonas.

You might think she’s just a pretty face…but you’d be wrong.

Tonight, Shush don’t let us down.  Touring the UK to launch their debut album Soundtrack To My Life they really pulled out the stops. The small crowd were clearly new to the sound of Shush but Milena and her mob grabbed their attention within the first few minutes.

It’s not hard really. Milena, with her sexy look, sassy attitude and sugar edged vocals belts out killer choruses which soon have even the most unfamiliar onlookers singing along.  Lively and full of energy, Dean keeps his bass slung low and plays full pelt – and although the sound wasn’t at its best he played like he could’ve been turned up to 11.

Dark molasses melodies with crunchy riffs coming from Andy on guitar and Kev kicking ass on drums keeps the whole thing tied together with an attitude akin to that of animal from the Muppets.

The lead single from the album, Do What I Want, is powerful and yet gorgeously arranged at the same time – this band are tight and bright. Shush were explosive on Tyneside and played as if they were entertaining a crowd of hundreds rather than a handful of Tuesday night chancers.

With tunes as catchy as your average Ramones classics, and as heavily rifftastic and hook-worthy as Wildhearts standards, this band more than lived up to their self-proclaimed “Rock and Roll Monster” monicker!

Louisa Kouzapas