At 7:25pm, a small group of people were beginning to gather by the doors of Tynemouth’s Surf Cafe. In the beautiful location nestled right alongside the North-East coast, the earlybirds certainly weren’t short of a stunning view to pass the time as they waited for the doors to open. In no time at all the shutters of the cafe were opened and tickets were being exchanged for copies of Lisbon’s long awaited debut EP ‘Life Is Good’. Upon entering the cafe it was clear that such an intimately sized venue would not deliver a disappointing time.
The evening began on a chilled note, starting off with support from the Newcastle singer-songwriter Keiandra. Her beautiful guitar riffs and haunting voice captured the attention of the Surf Cafe and began to draw in a sizable audience. Slower songs such as ‘Wanted’ had the audience mesmerized by her captivating vocals, whilst catchy melodies guaranteed to stay with everyone days after the show were delivered in songs such as ‘Icing Sugar.’ Towards the end of the set, more upbeat tracks like ‘Rockstar State Of Mind’ had everyone singing and dancing along, getting the evening off to a promising start.
Next up and kicking up the tempo was Scottish singer-songwriter Michael Cassidy. The alternative-folk artist built an amazing atmosphere within the cafe with his energetic and melodic guitar in songs such as ‘Battleships’ and ‘We Can Breathe’. With a witty stage presence Cassidy chatted with the crowd and tried his hand at a bit of gentle comedy. One pasta joke later it’s fair to say that his comedy career could have difficulty taking off, and that his raw talents definitely lie with music! His incredible vocals delivered a real passion and emotion, such as in his final song ‘15 Years’, in which true emotion was conveyed along with catchy melodies that had the crowd hooked on every last lyric.
By 10pm, the Surf Cafe was tightly packed with friends and fans of the band (some even coming from as far as the Netherlands,) eagerly awaiting their performance. As Lisbon took to the floor they launched straight into a jam-packed set starting off with ‘Blue Love,’ which instantly had everybody moving. Playing to a home crowd, their ever infectious song ‘Native,’ introduced by frontman Matthew Varty as being all about their hometown, was very well received, with every audience member belting the lyrics straight back to them. The incredible energy radiating throughout the cafe didn’t falter once during the night, with a final surge during the last song ‘Rio,’ which sent the audience into a wild frenzy of dancing. Even the surf cafe staff couldn’t resist the party atmosphere; with one of them even jumping up onto the bar to show off his dance moves. When the boys laid down their instruments and thanked everyone for coming down to show their support, there were shouts from the crowd requesting one more song. A megaphone was pulled from under the bar to start a chant of “one more song!” making it difficult for the lads to refuse. With six minutes to go before curfew a quick vote was taken as to which song everyone wanted to hear again, and it was clear that ‘Native’ was the strong winner. Even cars parked on the street outside rolled down their windows to listen to the immense sounds emanating from the cafe, whilst inside the fans danced their hearts out one more time as if there was no tomorrow.
Follow updates from Lisbon here.
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Review by Kate Hathaway | @HatherzJr