@Newcastle Think Tank?, February 29 2015

Leap Day, or February 29th, might be a superstitious event for some – but the only magic being worked in Newcastle on Monday night was coming from the stage.

With the Scuzz Throwdown Tour in full flow, rock fans were given the chance to see two of the best up-and-coming British rock acts on the circuit today. Press to MECO and Max Raptor did not disappoint.

Both know how to work a crowd, but in their different ways: Luke Caley from PTM is more engaging and admittedly nerdy in his approach – while Wil Rey and his band play their music with the type of fury of a rock band that has a lot of say and not a lot of time to say it.

Press to MECO played songs from their two major releases to date – the self titled EP and their debut LP Good Intentions, with old classics such as Affinity and Tired Bones getting some much needed airtime.

As is the norm with a smaller crowd, Caley had to be on his game – and he was, ordering the audience forward and asking them to nod their heads if they approved of the tunes. There were plenty of nodders.

There couldn’t have been more of a contrast between that approach and the one taken by Rey, who stormed around the stage and got in the faces of the punters with the snarling aggression of an old school rocker.

Indeed, with songs like England Breathes and Blue on Red that are about immigration on politics, they are a real throwback to the 80s.

With guitarist Ben Winnington and bassist Matt Stevenson throwing themselves around the stage, it was all action from a band who don’t like to play their only slow song because it takes the edge off things.

It was nothing from another world but those two bands weaved their own sort of magic.