@ Newcastle O2 Academy, December 9 2010

Newcastle once again braved sub zero temperatures to see two headline acts for the price of one. And this turned out to be the proverbial winter warmer.

First on the bill was Toby Jepson and the ex-Little Angels frontman had no difficulty rousing the crowd. Running a gamut of hits and building to a fantastic finish with the classic Too Much Too Young – with vocals just as clear and powerful as back in 1989 – he left the audience in fine voice and paved the way for the mighty SKIN.

Watching them cavort across the stage and it’s pretty clear SKIN are happy to be back out on the road. Rocking the original line up of Neville McDonald on vocals, Myke Gray on guitar, Dickie Fliszar on drums and Andy Robbins bass, they power their way through a 90-minute set boasting a heady mix of old and new.

Kicking off with a new track, Born To Rock N Roll, from their 2010 release Breaking The Silence, segueing into House Of Love and Colourblind from their self titled debut in 1994, SKIN had the audience in the palm of their hand from the start and were visibly moved by the level of adoration received.

Neville and Myke are, indeed, a force to be reckoned with. Neville’s vocals are impressive to say the least and he’s lost none of his vocal range since the band’s last appearance in Newcastle at the City Hall in 1997. High points are many – Book Of Life, Money and, of course, the gritty ode to a lap dancer Look But Don’t Touch – were delivered with customary aplomb and had the frenzied crowd singing along.

SKIN might have declared this their farewell tour. But after a brilliant night in Newcastle they may well reconsider.

Viki Ridley