Interview & Gig Review: Bear’s Den, The Cluny

The Cluny’s intimate feel was the perfect setup to emphasize Bear’s Den music. When entering the gig, the room was packed, with fans spilling into every corner and lending their eyes and ears to the magic of the bearded trio. They opened with one of their most popular songs “Elysium”, where the prominent use of the trumpet created a sense of nostalgia that echoed throughout the entire set. Though the banjo and trumpet where noticeable, they did not overpower the unique guitar playing; creating the perfect balance between indie folk and country. The songs “Don’t let the Sun Steal You Away” and “Agape” brought the energy out of the crowd and highlighted the bands ability to guide the audience throughout; as we felt part of the whole experience, rather than detached viewers. The gig as a whole was an artistic piece, with their songs flowing seamlessly as their album “Islands” does. The bands main personal love of Lenard Cohen is main influence to their sound, which is comparable to such bands like Of Monsters and Men and Mumford and Son’s, who they have previously supported. The bands lyrics tell various meaningful stories, which many artist today lack in. The trio’s unity was outwardly seen when they would interact with each other mid song. This did not separate the crowd from the band but alternatively did the opposite and drew us in more. Not only did they connect with us on a musical and lyrical level but on a physical one too. This was shown when they joined us in crowd and played an acoustic version of “Bad Blood”. They finished the promising set with the song “Sahara” from their original album “Without/Within”, which highlighted their incredible songwriting skills from the get go as well as finishing the show on a high.

Andy Brown and Lottie Bovill

NSR Meets Bear’s Den! by Newcastle Student Radio on Mixcloud

NSR Meets… The Kaiser Chiefs!

Two weeks ago, the Kaiser Chiefs played the Metro Radio Arena, a show that gave so much and more. Kaiser Chiefs are one of those bands that you will have a vivid memory of growing up, it’s hard to believe it’s been almost 10 years since ‘I predict a riot ‘was released. Eventhough they’ve been round for such a long time, they’re still very much down to earth and still love to impress their fans. As expected they played a mixture of singles from their newest album Education, Education, Education & War and some of their classics, such as Ruby, Never Miss A Beat and Oh My God; we were even surprised to hear a cover of The Who’s Pinball Wizard, which they had performed at the 2012 Olympics closing ceremony, a performance of their new single Falling Awake and even a video sketch from Dave Grohl.

Starting off as pioneering a new style of indie rock in the noughties, they definitely haven’t forgotten their roots and their complete spirit on stage demonstrates this. In particular, Ricky Wilson is not just simply the calm and collected guy he may appear on ‘The Voice’, he is first and foremost a Kaiser Chiefs frontman, and he approaches his stage with limitless energy, jumping off anything in sight and a complete daredevil when it comes to a swinging, hangover microphone. It’s obvious they are a band who loves to connect and interact with their audience, and this is exactly what they did throughout the gig. At one point Ricky was even brave enough to run through (the almost sold out) standing crowds to get to a stage at the back of the arena. Also included was a Q&A type format to the show, bringing keyboardist ‘Peanuts’ centre stage, after first announcing that he had actually studied at Newcastle University, to answer a couple of questions from fans in the audience. Being the fun loving guy he is, Ricky even replied to one fan asking the question ‘do you like cats?’ with the response ‘well that’s a shit question’.

Overall, the gig consisted of endless energy from all five members, humorous interaction with the audience, fun and a whole lot of unexpected surprises. The Kaiser Chiefs are amazing not only for their Northern charm and passionate music, but for their ability to interact with a crowd, even in a venue the size of the arena, and actually get them involved with the show; even screening a backdrop of images from the Quayside during their final song Coming Home to bring in that Newcastle home spirit. The relentless energy and trademark ambition that each member brings to the stage is truly mesmerising, it’s like they’d never been away from us.

Hannah Maloney.

NSR Meets… THE KAISER CHIEFS! by Newcastle Student Radio on Mixcloud

Interview: Southern, Riverside

Ahead of supporting Hudson Taylor at Riverside this week, the brother-sister duo Southern sat down with Heather Bradshaw to discuss the latest since we spoke with them back in October.

Southern are on tour throughout February across the UK supporting Hudson Taylor, and we recommend you check them out!

NSR Meets Southern (Again!) by Newcastle Student Radio on Mixcloud

DJ Legend John Morales Visits NSR!

Last Friday evening myself and Ricky had the immense pleasure of welcoming DJ legend John Morales into the studio for a chat about his life and his work.

John Morales is a pioneer in the mixing scene, beginning his career with a mix of Inner Life’s ‘Caught Up (In A One Night Love Affair)’, to his most recent compilation ‘Club Motown‘. He has influenced countless DJs, and remains as in-demand as ever in both the studio in the club. This weekend we had the privilege of watching him at work at the fabulous Hoochie Coochie on both Friday and Saturday night; your Heads of Music and Station Manager managed to dance away the full three hour set away.

John’s latest CD is entitled ‘Club Motown‘, and is a compilation of great Motown funk tracks featuring rarities, M&M mixes from back-in-the-day, and five brand new remixes of Teena Marie, Val Young, Tata Vega, Thelma Houston, and Diana Ross. For more information on John, visit his website:

We are so pleased to have had the opportunity to speak with John for an entire hour, and you can listen to it in it’s entirety below!


George Haffenden.

Haff & Ricky Meet DJ Legend John Morales by Newcastle Student Radio on Mixcloud


Interview & Live Review: Mallory Knox

Mallory Knox headlined the Newcastle O2 Academy this week and it turned out to be wilder than I had expected. Half an hour before the doors even opened the queue to get in was practically circling the O2 and everyone seemed so excited. Since the release of their new album Asymmetry a couple of weeks ago, drug the band has grown ever more popular than they already were, here landing 16th place in the UK album charts.

The crowd were already geared up after the support acts, especially Frnkiero- a band that a lot of people in the crowd went wild for. Though, lead singer of Mallory Knox, Mikey Chapman, is the king of encouraging an audience, and that’s exactly what he did from the word go. They graced the stage, inevitably beginning their show with a few songs from the new album, QOD II, Shout at the Moon and Getaway. Though to the crowd’s delight Mallory Knox were keen to perform some of their older stuff like Lighthouse and 1949. It was clear these weren’t here to promote an album, but to play a kiss-ass show. The climax of the night came in the form of a wall of death, encouraged by Mikey- there is nothing more appealing to their fans than to be thrown about in a mosh pit, and with good reason. The crowd was mental, but it was exciting

Mallory Knox are a band that like to play with your emotions- sure they can throw down a head banger, but they can just as equally stand there with one guitar and play a slower, more emotional song. These boys thrive off a crowd’s reaction, which is what makes them so amazing live and they’ll keep ever growing. To think that they were once playing the smallest room upstairs in the O2 is unbelievable.


Hannah Maloney


Interview with Mallory Knox by Newcastle Student Radio on Mixcloud

long homecoming dresses online

Legends of Soul and R&B on NSR!

This week we’ve been in contact with some legends here at NSR-HQ! First up, we had a chat with Gwen Dickey, the former lead singer with the group Rose Royce. Gwen sang on timeless classics such as ‘Car Wash‘, ‘Wishing On A Star‘, and ‘Love Don’t Live Here Any More‘. Take a listen to our chat below:

NSR Meets Soul Legend Gwen Dickey of Rose Royce! by Newcastle Student Radio on Mixcloud

And if that wasn’t enough, we also had a chat with Mary Davis from The S.O.S Band this afternoon, which you can hear below.


NSR Meets Mary Davis of The SOS Band! by Newcastle Student Radio on Mixcloud

The S.O.S Band, Gwen Dickey, and Loose Ends will be in London 21st November, Middlesbrough 22nd November, and Manchester 23rd November.

George Haffenden

Live Review – Nick Mulvey, The Sage Gateshead

Last Monday evening the footfall across the Millennium Bridge at the Quayside in Newcastle seemed to swell as people flocked to The Sage. In the main hall was the Britain’s Got Talent Opera singer Paul Potts, yet I found myself stood in the hexagonal Hall 2 looking up at James Page, better known on the stage as Sivu. The 25-year-old warmed the crowd with his quirky shirt, distinctive falsetto and haunting melodies before Nick Mulvey graced the room.


Shortlisted for The Mercury Prize again, this time as a solo artist, Mulvey picked up the ears of the crowd where Sivu had left them, and continued to entrance us with his first song choice of the evening, ‘April.’ From the offset with his guitar playing skills it was obvious that Mulvey was going to bring something a bit extraordinary to the evening, reminding me of the last time I had seen him play in support of the musical idol/guitar god Ben Howard two summers ago. With Howard in my mind being the master of the guitar, it is evident that Mulvey has simlarly learnt a thing or two in his time as a musician, as the riffs and musical patterns that he proceeded to play throughout the night were truly memorizing.


His bluesy and jazzy background (former part of Portico Quartet, once nominated for Mercury Prize in 2008) proved evident in the melodies of ‘Nitrous,’ and ‘The Trellis’ that followed, with ‘Meet Me There’ holding an intricately intriguing off-sync drum beat. With the prolonged instrumental introductions and mid song riffs, it became obvious the more Mulvey played, that the highlight and creative focus was on the instrumentals and over all sound patterns, leaving the voice and lyrics as a more subtle yet welcome accompaniment, rather than the other way around.


Instead of feeling like a distant member of an audience at a gig, with the combination of the room’s incredible acoustics alongside the surrounding laid back atmosphere, Mulvey enabled us to feel like he had invited us into one of his jamming sessions amongst friends.


Concluding the main set with the crowd favourites of ‘Venus’, ‘Fever To The Form‘ and the popular ‘Cucurucu‘, Mulvey left the stage briefly before his encore and cover of Drake’s ‘Just Hold On We’re Going Home,’ which tickled the audience in all the right places. It was a great night in a great venue, and I think we can expect even greater things to come from this very talented artist in the near future.


Zoë Troughton

Live Review – George Ezra, Newcastle Student’s Union

This week exactly last year, case the fresh faced 19 year old George Ezra stood at the back of the O2 in Newcastle, medical having just come off stage as Tom Odell’s support act casually chatting and having a laugh with me, symptoms and when asked if I could get a quick snap with him, “sure you want it with me?” was his response. 52 weeks later, a year older, the same presence was welcomed at Newcastle University’s Venue, this time on his own packed out, sold out headline tour, Wanted On Voyage.

In true Ezra style he graced the stage to a melody similar to that of the infamous ‘Benny Hill’ and with a cheeky grin, opened with one of his top selling singles ‘Cassy O’. Talking briefly after to politely introduce himself (please George, we love you, of course we know who you are) he awkwardly admitted he hated his ‘talking voice’ ‘and face’ and informed us he would try to stick to his singing voice, which to be fair to the Hertford-born chap, he did mostly throughout the show. But George, know we love your face. The 12-year-old girls that stood behind me have permanently reduced my hearing ability in order for you to know this.

With each note in each song attaining its own full bodied and rounded wholesomeness, ‘Blame it on Me’ particularly captivated, as did the incredible guitar interludes in ‘Barcelona’ with Ezra letting us in on his love of travel. Although muttering that we should ‘bare with’ during his rendition of ‘Leaving it up to You’ due to his lack of choir alike on the album, he needn’t have worried as each individual in the room took it upon themselves became his resounding choir for the night. And we nailed it.

The instrumentals throughout the set deserve their own accreditation, most notably the guitar riffs in ‘Listen to The Man’, whilst the strong drums and accompaniment that came with ‘Spectacular Rival’ held its outstanding haunting melody beautifully, if not more so than on the album.

The heartfelt ballad approach Ezra took with ‘Breakaway’ held the audience in an unusual silence, standing in watch as the lyrical husky voice sold his story via melody, before finishing with another of his well known, more upbeat choices, ‘Budapest’.

Ezra quickly changed to his simple white tee to wrap up with an encore of ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,’ (his infamous Radio 1 Live Lounge Cover) which was an unexpected but well received choice. Thanking us for coming to listen, George ended the night with ‘Did You Hear The Rain’ proceeding in an incredible mellow and slowed down fashion, to then crescendo into one of the most powerful and energetic songs of the whole evening, resounding in the memory of each individual as they departed.

Ezra certainly gave us an experience on his Wanted On Voyage Tour, and we cannot wait until he decides to take us on a journey with him again.

Zoe Troughton