The Magpie Salute @ The Riverside, Newcastle, December 7 2018

Following the high and lows of drug fuelled sibling fall outs, The Black Crowes finally decided to call it a day in 2015. The split led to the Robinson brothers going their separate ways, and Rich Robinson gifting the world the incredible The Magpie Salute.

With their debut release, High Water I, the six piece super group lived up to all the hype, delivering an album with all the swagger their reputation deserves. With three members of The Black Crows in the band, along with John Hogg, who formed Hookah Brown with Rich Robinson in the early noughties, the electric chemistry of the band comes as no surprise.

As a collective, few others have finer technical skills than the Magpie Salute, and those skills were truly brought to life on Friday night in the Riverside, Newcastle. With its small capacity, the venue give fans the opportunity to get up close and personal with genuine rock and roll royalty, and for the band to really connect with its fans, as they enter into a new chapter of their highly distinguished careers.

Taking to the stage,they wasted no time getting started, opening with their debut album’s title track, before racing into Take It All,For The Wind and Open Up. With each of these tracks, Robinson and Marc Ford effortlessly showcased their class, guile and synchronised approach in a way many players could only dream.

While the band are on tour to promote their debut album, they also fully appreciative of what the fans wanted to hear, with four Black Crowes tracks creeping into the set list – Lay It All On Me, On Mirror Too Many, BeenA Long Time (Waiting On Love) and My Morning Song. These iconic tracks were met with a rousing reception from a merry Geordie audience, who clapped, sang and drank throughout.

While the Crowes’ classic went down a treat, the response of the Magpie Salute’s own songs was similarly strong, showing the sheer quality of what this newly formed band are doing. Mary The Gypsy, Can You See, Sister Moon (acoustic) and Send Me An Omen all received warm receptions from the audience, while the band themselves seemed genuinely enthusiastic to be playing new material; particularly John Hogg, who exuded positive energy with his infectious smile throughout.

In a set spanning two hours, the trans-Atlantic band delivered a performance that was simultaneously electrifying and intimate, as they mixed originals and covers to create an intensely brilliant balance.

2019 sees the band release High Water II, and a return to Newcastle can’t come fast enough.