Stockton Calling. 8.4.23. Stockton

It doesn’t really get much better than my first band of Stockton Calling 2023 being a huge performance by hotly tipped prospects Snayx.  Opening the Arc 2 at 2.15, due to needing to play an evening show in Glasgow, Snayx are on unbelievable form as they play to a large crowd and bring huge energy to the day.

Some impressive shows by Gone Tomorrow, Lilo and Edinburgh’s Silvi follow before The big day kick the day into overdrive with funk guitars and poppy synth melody lines.  ‘I need a miracle’ and ‘Force of nature’ stand out in a confident show which channels elements of INXS.
A quick jump into Arc 1 sees Eevah take to the stage next; the two-piece elctro rock duo managing to combine the Jesus and Mary Chain with early Depeche Mode to create accessible, yet leathered, pop.  Their new track ‘One of those days’ and ‘Take me to bed’ stand out in a solid show.

A jump back to the Arc 2 to see The queens head turns out to be my personal highlight of the day, with the Queens blending some serious Performance art with a strange, dark, twist on The Talking Heads.  They’re excellent and could easily have played for double their allotted 25 minutes.

The Arc 1 is packed out by the time local hero Tom A Smith takes to the stage, with Smith’s performance (and guitar playing) just getting better and better every time you see him.  Man Overboard is the highlight of a set that could well have been further up the line up list; and may well be by this time next year.

A quick run over to the Georgian proves a mistake given that Divorce are unable to play at the last minute, as well as the fact that the venues are now filling right up and it’s hard to get into some of them.  back into the Arc.  However it does mean I get close to the front for the excellent Sleeper and their closure of today’s Georgian stage.  As always with Stockton Calling, there’s too much to see and as the day goes on it get’s too busy to get into each venue.  But you have to say fair play to the organisers because this festival just gets better and better each year.  What a great day, great line up and great venues.

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