Turns out that I have not actually been inside the Tyne pub before, although I walk or ride past it more or less everyday. Nice place inside; has a slightly mid-west US feel, with a long bar, high stools and a Budwieser neon sign. Fortunately, the beer bears little resemblence to the US counter-part, and they’ve put coat hooks under the bar, which means your jacket doesn’t great trambled when it falls of the back of your chair.
There were 3 support acts on; all three were pretty poor at promoting themselves and I didn’t pick up the names, although the last one sounded improbably like “The Courgette Sisters”. First, up where man, woman, two guitars, nice songs. Fluent and organised, there were fairly good, although perhaps moving toward the inoffensive end of things. Second, were a strange four piece who mixed flamenco, blues and folk; sometimes successfully, sometimes less so. When they got going, though, they banged out a fair rhythm. If they can get over the occasional tendency toward complexity for the sake of it, they will be great. Finally, the aforementioned Sisters. Good stuff, nice voices, but they didn’t dazzle me.
The main act, Elliot Brood, have been billed as Death Country. Actually, this pretty much covers it; the songs are country inspired, all acoustic instruments, but then with fuzz on top. Add in the occasional metal chord change and you have it. Pretty good as it happens, lots of opportunity for headbanging and general dancing around even if, by this stage, I was falling asleep in my beer. It was helped by the atmosphere; quite a few Canadians who were probably a bit surprised to find their band playing over here in a small pub. Often the best kind of gigs these.