The Sundowners, Think Tank, Newcastle, 26.04.2017 Apr28


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The Sundowners, Think Tank, Newcastle, 26.04.2017


The Sundowners, Think Tank, Newcastle, 26.04.2017

I have often been told that I need to broaden my music taste, my kids tell me I am stuck in the 70’s and 80’s listening to Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Motorhead etc.’ Get out and hear some new young bands’ they say. So I did.

The Sundowners are a quintet of 20+something year olds that are already on their 2nd album entitled “Cut the Master” and on the same entitled UK tour. They have already toured with the likes of Kasabian and Paul Weller, 2 of the biggest names in music.

Hailing from Merseyside you might expect to hear similar sounds from The Beatles, Cilla Black, Gerry and the Pacemakers et al or more modern groups like The Coral, The La’s etc. but not from this group. They have brought their own brand of ‘Flower Power’ music from the 60’s into the 21st century and what’s more they do it brilliantly.

Fronted by 2 young ladies, Niamh Rowe and Fiona Skelly (Who bears an uncanny resemblance to Sophie Marceau; ‘Who you ask? – The beautiful French Princess who falls in love with Mel Gibson in Braveheart) their voices blend beautifully and softly together in pure harmony, don’t go expecting any screeching or power ballad vocals this is more relaxing the a surgeons general anaesthetic.

The only song I had heard them play prior to this gig was ‘Humming bird’ and that was only about 5 days ago as it popped up on my You Tube feed and it instantly grabbed my attention.

You would be forgiven if you closed your eyes and thought you were listening to a combination of Jefferson Airplane, Early Fleetwood Mac, Matthew’s Southern Comfort or had been time warped back into a field at Woodstock festival. These people have rejuvenated the hippy, free love, CND era and to my knowledge the only modern band in this niche market. OK it’s nothing new but it probably is to anyone under the age of 40.

Opening with new songs ‘Before the Storm’ and ‘Great Beauty’ relaxes you straight away and to be honest none of the songs raise your pulse above chilled. It is one of the best albums I have heard in ages, very different for this era but at the age of 53, something in my brain locks in this era as a happy peaceful time in my childhood. ‘Into the Light’; ‘If Wishes were Horses’ from their previous album keeps you locked in the same relaxed state. If hypnotists use music to relax their patients then they should put this CD on.

Back to a few newbies with ‘Summer Fades; ‘King of the Dawn’ ’Ritual’ and ‘Watchful Eye’. Now if everyone want’s world piece, I recommend sending a copy of this to Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un and Vladmir Putin, throw in a few herbal cigarettes and see what happens, the arms race and the threat of impending Mutually Assured Destruction would disappear overnight, it’s astonishingly good.

Now to my favourite song, ‘Humming bird’ which I feel has a definite George Harrison ‘My Sweet Lord’ feel about it, not copied just a similarity.

Closing the set with ‘Soul Responding’ and ‘Medicine’ the band take their bows but although the venue was far from packed the crowd did request an encore and why not, this was one hell of a beautiful night. They duly returned with a final song for the new album ‘Find out yourself’. Which is quite an appropriate title as that is exactly what I did and I am glad I did. Hopefully if this gets to press fast enough the rest of the tour will be a sell-out. Genuinely and whole heartedly go and find out yourself.

It’s been a few years since any real Liverpool revolution took over musically but mark my words it is coming again and The Sundowners will be right at the front of it.

My message to The Sundowners, I have no idea who your parents or grandparents are but say thank you from me for bringing you up surrounded by great music, it’s embroiled in you, keep it going you’re doing nothing wrong.

So in conclusion, if you have had a stressful day at work, college, university or even home, get yourself out to their gigs, if you can’t, then download the CD and play it. If it doesn’t relax you I will eat my hat.

People of Newcastle, your bodies were very short in numbers, I attribute this to your teams win the night before securing Premiership football but you really missed out on a superb band tonight.

Now I am off out to buy some Mushrooms……….well you can’t have a full English breakfast without them can you?

Set list:

  1. Before the Storm.
  2. Great Beauty.
  3. Into the Light.
  4. If Wishes were Horses.
  5. Summer Fades.
  6. King of the Dawn.
  7. Ritual.
  8. Watchful Eye.
  9. Humming bird.
  10. Soul Responding.
  11. Medicine.
  12. Find out yourself.

The Band:

Niamh Rowe – Singer / Guitar; Fiona Skelly – Singer / Guitar; Tim Cunningham – Bass; Alfie Skelly –Guitar and Jim Sharrock – Drums



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