@ Newcastle 02 Academy, February 20 2011

You may have never heard of Grinspoon but interestingly these guys are BIG news.

They’ve been around for more than 15 years, extensively touring with some of the best names in the business.

They boast hit singles, hit albums and multi-platinum sales worldwide but, for some reason, they’ve never made their footprint on the UK music scene. Yet as they tour the nation to promote the British release of their album Six By Midnight things may be about to change.

So who are they?  A four piece band with an indie alternate sound with a grunge edge to them: heavy -yes; loud – yes; different – indeed.  Think Silverchair and Rage Against The Machine meets Scott Weiland’s presence in Velvet Revolver.

Phil Jamieson is almost awkward in stature with his presence demanding your attention from the word go.  Dial Tone and 1000 Miles prove his range and sheer energy whilst Hard Act To Follow, a more funky number, measurably takes the tone down somewhat.

Bassist Joe Hanson has his bass slung low and his air leaps are as high as the audience are – his fingers dance around the fret board producing a distinguished heavy bass sound which seems to flow effortlessly out of him.

In stark contrast, slick guitarist Pat Devern couldn’t be more grounded and comfortable with the stage as a natural home. Setting the pace for all of this action is Kristian Hope who thunders on his pure sounding drums in the background as a dark bundle of oomph – especially during Champion.

Jamieson graces the crowd with an acoustic guitar encore with a version of La Roux’s Bulletproof which could actually make even the hardest of hearts enjoy the song. The band erupted onto the stage for a final song and in glorious style Jamieson hurtled into the audience with abandon – not once dropping a word: a true front man.

A small yet intimate gig for a band of such global standing and the Academy crowd really were among the privileged few!

Louisa Kouzapas