@ Newcastle O2 Academy II, March 28 2011

Powercuts are indiscriminate and when one strikes a musical venue at the most inappropriate of times, you can bet that there’s a lot of people left pissed off.

Hordes of fans geared up on pure adrenaline for a wild party were left not knowing whether Crash Diet, Hardcore Superstar or The 69 Eyes would show after such unforeseen circumstances.

What is it they say on broadway?  The show must go on? 

That was the exact mentality of Crash Diet, who quite frankly couldn’t give a shit whether they were going to have power or not.  The Stockholm quartet brandished their acoustic guitars to battle the situation, and managed to instill a community atmosphere and get the Newcastle crowd singing along like kum-bah-yah round a campfire.  Popular hit Generation Wild showed their steel and assured that, despite a full performance without electric they are a force to be reckoned with.

Then, to the horror of many everyone was strictly told to vacate the premises.  Envisaging nothing but the dread of a complete cancellation, hardcore fans stuck to the Academy in the bleak hopes that power would be restored, and were rewarded over an hour later when street lights once again beamed in their casual nonchalance.  No one would have thought such celebration would ensue at the flicking of a light.

With anticipation immense and cravings fierce, Hardcore Superstar’s set made the cheers justified and the wait in the cold worth it, when they took to the stage in style. Sadistic Girls channelled their newly found power into an electrifying rendition that risked blowing another fuse with it’s bombastic intensity.

The Swedish four-piece gave their respect to Crash Diet who really deserved it, before My Good Reputation exceeded expectations with a sweaty, bouncing hard rock anthem.  No one could really complain about the frontmanship of Joakim Berg with huge entertainment factor and the rampant sleaze guitar soloing from Vic Zino.

Breaking up the set was no problem either. Here Comes That Sick Bitch Again provided a well timed wind-down with its acoustic nature allowing Berg to fully exemplify the true potential of his raw, raspy yet beautiful voice. We Don’t Celebrate Sundays finished what was a brilliant set.

The 69 Eyes had their work cut out and whilst there has been a debate whether these guys or HCSS should headline this tour, the Helsinki quintet didn’t put a foot wrong. A handful might have left prematurely, but that didn’t quash their efforts completely. Devils began their performance and it was clear that from here on in, the stimulated activity and general swagger of Jyrki 69 would see them through somewhat.

They revealed their innately gothic flamboyancy with Dead N’ Gone, consistently delivering the goods before finishing on Lost Boys. Despite an engaging performance, The 69 Eyes would have looked better being second on the bill, and while it might seem a unfair to hold this as a criticism, it’s probably how the majority felt about the Finns.

Hanging in the balance at the beginning of the night, this gig might have looked unlikely from the start, but with hindsight it was worth holding out for.

Calum Robson