iTCH pic@ Newcastle O2 Academy, January 22 2014

When these two come to town people start talking and excitement grows in anticipation to catch a glimpse of one of the great modern wordsmiths and his sidekick.

This tour was met with even more optimism than usual when news broke that former King Blues ringleader, iTCH (pictured), would be providing support. Having announced the split of the King Blues in 2012, iTCH has gone solo in his search to achieve what he could not within the band unit and in his own words “make music that will change the world.” 

Bringing his new material on tour for the first time, he had to privilege of playing in front of the biggest crowd on the tour so far, with around 900 turning out.

As he arrived on stage, and throughout his whole show, it was clear that this is a young man who is in a very good place musically, looking as though his reins have been cut and he has complete control over his own musical destiny. With this in mind the Essex boys could not have had a more perfect warm up act, as he got the crowd pumped up and ready for everyone’s favourite street poet, Scroobious Pip.

As the bearded man took to the stage in front of a crowd a crowd full of bearded lookalikes drinking from two pint glasses, he leapt straight into crowd favourite Stunner, bringing with him a wall of pure energy.

Dan Le Sac’s impeccable skills on the decks, coupled with his backing vocals and showmanship, provided the perfected platform for Pip to impart his wisdom upon the adoring crowd.

From start to finish Pip’s front man skills were clear for all to see, no more so than his demonstration of how to easy it is to manipulate a mid-20s Geordie crowd during Get Better. Facing the crowd in his usual preacher like stance, Pip ordered the crowd to start clapping: “I want you all to clap, you will clap from the start to the end, I don’t want anyone to fade. If you fade you are a pussy!”

With this kind of showmanship it would never be suggested that the pair need guest appearances to enhance their show. However that’s what we got from Sarah Williams White and iTCH, as they appeared for renditions of Cauliflower and Stiff Upper Lip.

From start to finish this show delivered everything that was expected, with the pair showing an incredible level of consistency and class.

Adam Keys