The Arc, Stockton
The Arc pulled off yet another coup when they booked The Hoax
. The British Blues band, who split in 1999 and eventually reformed a decade later, released a crowd-funded album - Big City Blues
- last year are playing a small number of dates. Luckily for Teesside, The Arc was on the ball (as usual).
Loud, energetic and hugely entertaining, The Hoax were the headline act of a triple bill of guitar and drum-based excellence that rocked Stockton last Thursday evening.
First up were Manchester's Federal Charm
; we reviewed their rock blues album here
last year. The made absolutely sure the evening started louder than I've ever heard at The Arc before. After that, there was no way the dials were going to be turned down from '11' for the rest of the night.
After a short break, Well Hung Heart
took to the stage. The evoked the spirit of the New Wave era, when blurry lines came in on the back of Parallel Lines and nobody quite knew ho to describe the music between the gaps of rock and punk.
Greta Valenti's quirky style saw her use a variety of microphones and even jump down from the stage to mingle with the audience at one point, improvising various lyrics including Iggy Pop's I Wanna Be Your Dog
and, later, Gimme Shelter
. Meanwhile, Robin Davey, resplendent in tartan trousers and bright red tie, somehow managed to play guitar and bass guitar at the same time (on the same instrument) thanks to an army of pedals and amps. A very interesting set!
The Hoax came on last and they were very impressive indeed. Robin Davey was back again, this time playing exclusively bass.
Hugh Coltman blasted out the vocals like there was no tomorrow. He also excelled on the harmonica, firing out various solos over the course of the evening.
Jess Davey and Jon Amor traded guitar solos throughout the show. They had greatly contrasting styles.
Dave Raeburn's drums, together with Robin Davey's solid bass, anchored the core of the sound to allow the guitars and harmonica to fly away to extraordinary places.
Shout it out - The Hoax are back!