51e6565e-86b6-480b-802f-5f04408b7bf2@ Newcastle O2 Academy, December 5 2013

You’ve got to hand it to Electric Six. For a band that continues to tour every year, still managing to attract a healthy crowd, they must be doing something right – even if they’re clinging onto the remains of an album more than a decade old now. 


But anyone expecting to be thrusted at by the man with the light-up crotch left the band’s latest gig severely disappointed by Dick Valentine’s presence.  Resembling a frailer and even more weathered looking Johnny Knoxville, the frontman spent the evening slumped at the front of the stage, his once strong and distinguishing vocals left drowned out in a sloppy mix.

The rest of the band did little to engage with the audience and help Valentine out. Yet nothing deterred the crowd from dancing away from start to finish. Tracks off the new album managed to create a stir but it was obvious that the majority of those present wanted to hear the songs from Fire.

Whenever a track from that definitive record was introduced, the room began to resemble what an Electric Six gig should look like. And the awkwardly dancing gathering at the front of the stage compensated for the lack of movement on the stage.  She’s White was rushed and slack but Gay Bar and High Voltage provided the excitement that the evening craved.

Ten albums and 10 years later, it seems any energy Valentine had left disappeared a while ago alongside that pencil mustache. But the loyalty of Electric Six’s fans cannot be faulted. Returning for the encore, Valentine announced that they had been paid by an audience member to play three specific songs and that ‘bribery works,’ before ending the night’s set. If only someone would pay them to give it a rest. Just for a little while.

Emma Carter