Twisterella is a multi venue inner city (town) independent music festival in Middlesbrough. Ran by TKASG and PayForThePiano promoters. Over the years I’ve seen many great bands here. I thought I’d share some of my favourites from the day.
With around 40 acts and 5 main venues, it certainly is brilliant value for money if nothing else! But this carefully curated lineup also makes up some of the most exciting new acts in Teesside and beyond.
We start the day at the Westgarth Social Club 2. A brilliantly intimate sized stage, that is the perfect size for a band such as this. Leif Erikson were a very chill vibes band.. Good to kick off the day. I liked the guitar work, and thought it was really true to the studio recordings. They are signed to Arts and Crafts records, which is pretty cool. I'm sure we will be hearing more from them. There were some longer jams too and good guitar tone. If you want to hear more, check out:
- Looking for Signs
- Green Leaves
- Real Stuff
EUT band are from Amsterdam. The Frontwoman was very energetic and captivating. Brilliant if you want a boogie. I had done quite a lot of research and listening to the bands before I came to Twisterella, so EUT were on my list. They certainly delivered on the energy side. They were in the venue The Townhouse (The Keys Middlesbrough) - Admittedly, not my favourite venue, but there are bands that are suited to this cool dancefloor-lit stage. This was a loud, vibrant set, yet still retaining cute pop moments at times.
- Bad Sweet Pony
- Sour Times
This guy was a surprise highlight. With Canadian charm and whimsical stories. I was back at the Westgarth for this one, and people were genuinely laughing at his song about morphine. Good atmosphere the crowd was very giving, and ready to get involved. Then he was joined by temporary support band in the form of Hartlepool based Mt misery. The set ended in an amazing guitar solo that came out of nowhere from the previous acoustic solo set. Having said that, the acoustic guitar work did have a few little bluegrassy twangs here and there.
- Do It For Love
- Root Beer
If you like punk music, this one's for you. I didn't catch too much of this set, but from what I heard, if you like moud, fast music, this is for you.
I also say Kay Greyson at TSOne, I do like grime and rap, and after hearing a few of the recorded stuff thought I should go and have a look at this set. It was a really great vibe, and people were really there for the music, and interested in the rhymes.
I have seen Martha Hill a few different times now, once solo, and this time with full band, and it was not disappointing. There is something very modern about her songs that really captivates, and she certainly did that. This was in the Teesside Uni Student’s union stage that I think is pretty good. The cellist was great during this performance too, it was a very well rehearsed, and thought out performance.
Martha Hill Musician
Peaness band are a fun 3 piece. I actually caught the end of their set a few years ago somewhere else, but this was the first time I saw a full set and it was very bouncy, and upbeat. Some songs having simple pop charm, and others were more complex and fun. Check out Peaness Tour for more.
Pom poko band were incredibly fun, energetic and got the Westgarth bouncing. From listening to them quite a bit before hand, they were quite hard to put in a box, kind of indie pop, kind of alt rock, and even elements of math rock guitar being involved. That being said, none of this mattered when they entered the Westgarth upstairs stage (biggest stage at Twisterella). Pom Poko really brought the energy and life into the day, and the crowd was loving it! I believe they have recently signed to Bella Union records, so we might be hearing more from them at some point down the line. Pom poko band album is called Birthday, and you can find out more below:
Twisterella Festival is the epitome of live music in middlesbrough. Bringing a mash of genres, styles, and bands all together into an incredible day of live music. Something about the Middlesbrough crowds are special too. Going to a gig and seeing the same familiar faces, that all have the common goal of loving music.
With the demise of middlesbrough music festival, middlesbrough music live and Stockton Weekender, this independently run festival is flying the flag for the Middlesbrough music scene, as well as injecting talent from further afield.
The great thing about this scene is the way the crowd and the promoters have ties with these musicians, and they keep coming back to the area, so we can watch them grow as artists. It is the perfect stomping ground for up and coming bands to cut their teeth to a responsive and loving crowd that are ready to have a good time. This is my first review on streamingwaves.com
Is it the UK’s best kept music secret?