Concert Review: Polarsets @ The Cluny – Newcastle

Hailing from Whitley Bay (a seaside town on north east coast of the UK), Polarsets have gained global recognition for their past releases. With that in mind, it’s a definite that their debut album Parasols will achieve just that.

On Sunday 21st September at The Cluny in Newcastle, the band opened with Drive Over The River, the first track off their record, setting their distinctive tropical tone for the rest of the show.

Soon they went on to playing crowd favourites such as Sunshine Eyes and Distances as well as their first single from the album: Madrid. From the stage to the crowd, their hits elated an audience which needed no help in later singing along to one of the bands biggest and finest tracks – Leave Argentina; which will never fail to provide an excessive burst of summer energy in calyptic-esque mass.

On stage the band flourished and effortlessly provided everything the audience wished to witness, including a recently added fourth member to the band and a dimension to the record which could only be captured through live performance.

Although some of the audience may have been none the wiser to Carmen’s recent entry to the band; as she joined in with what was once a trio, not only did she seem at home onstage but she provided immaculately crisp and clear vocals for one of my personal favourite tracks of the album and its live debut: Whispers.

However, I felt like the peak of the bands set was met with the arrival of albums title track Parasols (initially wrote by drummer – James Rudd, in December 2012). During which the crowd witnessed Mike Smith in an angry battle with his ever-spinning stage side jam block.

The live execution of this track showed first hand how the use of minimalistic parts can deceitfully appear to sound adventurous and epic using melodic counterparts in which the crowd was wistfully from an Autumnal British evening to the shores of South America (which having spent time in Columbia, I’m sure the band found inspirational to the album).

After finishing off their eleven song set with a track from their Exotica EP titled Tropics and demonstrating throughout their set just why they are the north easts’ mighty Polarsets, the band returned to play a one song encore; Morning.

Morning; which is possibly most well known for frontman Rob Howes’ lyric ‘I’m wide eyed at four in the morning’ during its colossal and continuous build up (where the dynamics are mainly due to percussion); was the perfect ending tune to break away from the crowd and end the night. The climax allowed the band to end on the perfect release of tension which the entire song had been headed toward; creating a euphoric rupture of applause and cheer filling the venue as they left the stage.

Parasols out now.

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Review by Ryan Young |

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