My Extra@ Newcastle Think Tank, September 25 2014

If Think Tank isn’t careful, it’s going to gain an unwelcome reputation as a gig venue where the big names come first but the sound is a secondary.

Once again, the opening salvos of a hotly anticipated set were badly damaged by the quality of the noise coming out of the speakers. 

Geordie rockers My Extraordinary were the latest act to shoot nervous looks towards the sound booth as the Think Tank team tried to get it right – something which doesn’t lend itself to putting on a good show.

However, three songs in and the issues had been ironed out: the band relaxed into their rhythm and got down to some rock.

Antony Thompson got rid of his guitar to focus solely on his vocal duties and it’s clear that he would have enjoyed more space up on stage to experiment with his new-found freedom. It’s a small stage for a five-piece band and didn’t offer them much room for manoeuvre.

As expected, My Extraordinary focused mainly on songs from their RUSHONROCK RATED: 7/10 album The World We Live In. It felt like a clear departure from the music of their Reality EP – which was released two years ago.

In fact, they only played one song from that release, Amongst The Rain, and Thompson didn’t so much as shoot one longing glance at his guitar-wielding band mates.

Tunes such as Risky Business and The World We Live In brought the biggest reactions from the crowd, including that rarest of commodities for smaller bands – a mosh pit.

Being a homecoming of sorts, there was a friendly atmosphere and the jokes were flying between those on stage and those looking at it. There was even a small banner.

It also happened to be the birthday of guitarist Joe Anderson, who in a vest and long hair looked like the sort of rocker inspired by his dad’s collection of Iron Maiden and Def Leppard vinyl.

These early concerts are a chance to iron out any cracks in performance and learn from past mistakes – and one thing that could be tweaked is My Extraordinary’s setlist.

It would have been much better if they could have started and ended on a high, instead of bookending the show with a slower ‘stadium rock’ vibe.

Despite the initial sound problems that caused some concern, My Extraordinary overcame them to deliver a good, solid gig. The songs are there and, given a bigger stage, there is a very real possibility that this band will deliver something a lot better than solid in the future.

Russell Hughes