Toon, Toast & Turmoil

Europe/UK Tour September, 2002

Saw the lads at Newcastle Arts Centre a couple of weeks ago, it was a monday night so it was pretty quiet around town, that was until Sneeze & Co took the stage. Tom, Nic and the crew were outstanding throughout all three sets - Godstar, Smudge & Sneeze. It was sweet soul, thrash & pure comedy combined, the small crowd knew they'd hooked onto something special. I'd seen Smudge before at the Duke of York in Leeds in '94 and was long overdue a follow up gig. Luckily wor kid (my brother) Jason had been living in Sydney for a bit and had seen Nic and Tom quite a lot at some local bars near his house down there. He'd picked up a few of the new songs like B.U., so when he returned to England he showed me how to play them on the guitar before I'd actually got the record, which was canny !

Anyhow back to the gig report, the night kicked off with 120 mins (from spain) who I hadn't heard before but they sounded alreet, then came a very short Godstar set that didn't include 'Double-Decker Bus' which is lush but afterwards Nic promised to play it next time they're here, hopefully not have to wait another 8 years like. Following that was 'the smudge show' which again everyone says wasn't on for long enough and I must admit Tom was just starting to crank up the amp before their time slot ran out. They did manage to squeeze in 'Divan', 'Outdoor Type' & 'Ingrown' amongst others but maybe a few more people jumping around at the front would've prompted a longer stint, as it was everyone was sat down like some arsey band convention tapping their toes. Spraydog (local band from the toon) were on next, without whom the gig may not have happened...cheers to phil,chris & steve. I've seen them stacks of times over the years and to be fair they weren't at their best which doesn't happen very often, didn't play me favourite 'Postcard' either, nevermind. Sneeze took the stage around 10pm and had the crowd in stitches with their smart one-liners and laidback but polished act. Nic was funny as f**k all night, especially during 'there ain't no love on the road' when he shouted 'give it up for the freak !' before diving into the crowd. Like I say, they still had the sense to knock out tune after tune of class songs like 'too much man to be my woman', 'B.U.', 'Dr. of love', a full length version of 'Tittie Bar' with 'Nurse Jones' etc. and the timeless 'shaky ground' which me & amanda play for the in-laws every christmas round the tree !

After the super balloon bursting,amanda & stu thanked the bands and then kept the night on a roll by going to the revolution vodka bar and getting plastered 'til 1am before gannin' home, played guitar and drank 'til 4am. I was f***ing ill but happy at work tuesday morning.

Picked up the new cd at the gig, got it signed and it hasn't been off my stereo since. take it easy and come back soon.

By Jonathan: