nxb3 on tour – Rexine at The Telegraph, Newcastle

This was the bands second gig with the new line-up featuring Rachel on vocals and Paul on Bass, both settling well into their new roles in the band. Rachel was definitely more confident than at their first gig at The Central in Gateshead where the nerves were definitely showing, the vocals were a little lower in the mix but still clearly audible. The fairly small crowd was mainly friends of the bands playing on the night and they were treated to a pretty good performance, the sound was good too and although the tracks played were the same at both gigs, the running order had been changed around.

The venue was a small upstairs room in The Telegraph pub, tucked behind the central station in Newcastle, the downstairs area was very quiet and although it used to be a popular pub in the town it seems to be struggling after a recent change of management which may have been a factor in the small crowd. There were four handpulls on the bar and I played safe asking for a pint of the ubiquitous Caledonian Deuchars. It was off so had to revert to the usual crap pub backup drink of a Guinness instead. It’s a nice venue for small intimate gigs but that’s the only reason I’ll be going back there.

The setlist was: Trail Of Sequins, Girl With A Chainsaw, There And Back Again, Laid Up In Ordinary, Wildness Ways, New Sparkle, Paper Dolls, Red Fox and Black Boots, White Lines.

The set was only 27 minutes long so there is a bit of spare room to squeeze an extra track in there, I’m sure Leipzig would be a popular choice, how about it?




nxb3 on tour – Rexine at The Head of Steam, Newcastle

I was going to write a review of this gig just after it happened but I ran out of time before going back to work in Africa so decided to wait for their next gig. This plan was shot down in flames on the 16th of May when Shona (guitar) announced on facebook that both Stacey (vocals) and Cathy (bass) had left the band due to separate individual circumstances so I decided to review their last gig I was at which turned out to be their very last gig with this lineup.

The band took to the stage just before 10pm launching straight into a storming version of their previous single ‘New Sparkle’. A brand new song called ‘Patterns’ was introduced by Stacey saying she might or might not remember the words, which was followed by an old song from 2010, ‘Long White Cloud’ although you wouldn’t know it was an old one as there were 2 false starts before finally getting the intro right and carrying on into the main body of the song. It was another old track next with set regular and opener ‘The Shell’ followed by another new to me song ‘A Foreign Country’ and a song that they rarely play ‘Snowblind’. Both sides of their latest single were next, ‘Trail of Sequins’ and another old set opener, ‘Paper Dolls’ followed by another new one ‘Crowd You Out’ and the last song was the regular set closer ‘Black Boots, White Lines’. A few people were shouting for Leipzig and I was also hoping they’d play it as an encore but it wasn’t to be and it was the end of another pretty good gig which the band clearly enjoyed. Stacey’s vocals were quiet for the first couple of songs, especially for the new Patterns but became clearer and more pronounced as she got into her stride and her confidence increased.

Rexine never really got past the stage of playing to a couple of dozen mates and the odd straggler but ever since seeing them for the first time supporting Shonen Knife at the Cluny I’ve been keeping an eye on their gig schedule and going to see them whenever it fitted into my plans. I got to see them 5 times in the end and was looking forward to seeing them again over the summer until the announcement of the band split. I wasn’t the only one to see potential in this band as they were recording at Polestar studios in Byker which is run by Pauline Murray, vocalist for local punk band Penetration. They even managed a couple of support slots to Penetration, supporting them at the Georgian Theatre in Stockton back in March and scheduled to support them again in Gateshead for their Rebellion warm up show which is probably going to be at The Three Tuns in very early August which they have had to pull out of because of the split.

Rexine were never a great band but I definitely had a soft spot for their particular brand of pop punk which had just enough of a hard edge to it to make it stand out from most of the other small bands in the north east. Stacey’s vocals were usually too low in the mix and she didn’t move around the stage much at all at any of their gigs I was at, apart from this one when she had a wander through the audience to a couple of her mates during Black Boots, White Lines. Despite this I liked them a lot and was really disappointed when I read the announcement of their split. Shona and Graeme asked for replacements for both Stacey and Cathy in the post announcing the split so hopefully Rexine will rise again and go on to bigger and better things now that Pauline Murray has taken them under her wing and is hopefully steering them in the right direction.


nxb3 on tour – Penetration at The Georgian Theatre, Stockton

After what must be a serious contender for gig of the year by Goy Boy McIlroy at Frankie and the Heartstrings record shop Pop Recs Ltd there was no time to hang around, the gig had gone on way longer than I had anticipated so it was a dash back to the car and a fast drive down to Stockton to The Georgian Theatre. I had really wanted to see the first support band, Newcastle Indie poppers Rexine who had impressed me the first time I saw them supporting Shonen Knife at The Cluny a year or so ago but their set had finished way before I arrived in Stockton. Main support Cyanide Pills were already half way through their set when I walked through the door of the venue so after grabbing a drink at the bar I made my way to the front to watch the last third of their set. They were pretty good and I’ll try and catch them next time they are up Newcastle way but over the last week with gigs 6 out of 7 nights, two gigs on both Friday and Saturday nights and at least a half dozen other gigs I wanted to be at this last weekend sometimes it’s not so easy to see a band that you like.

This would be the second and last gig from the Penetration tour, I’d also seen them play a very good gig the previous night in Derby at the excellent venue The Hairy Dog so I was expecting another good one. The band came on stage a little after 10:00, they had been waiting for Pauline who came into the venue just a couple of minutes before hand. They started the set with ‘Future Daze’ and ‘Life’s A Gamble’ to lots of cheering and clapping, there were also people singing along for entire songs but sadly no mosh pit. Pauline greeted the audience with “Well hello everyone, thanks for coming out tonight” then went on to thank both support bands before continuing with ‘Lovers Of Outrage’. Pauline asked who had been at the Georgian Theatre for their last gig there and a few people cheered, she went on to say it was loud, very loud, eyeball shaking and ear hurting loud and a mate later told me that he had been and the sound was so bad that he had walked out. I’m pleased to say there were no such problems this time, the sound was excellent, nicely balanced and clear vocals where I was standing which was at the front, just to the right of Pauline.
“I hope nobody gets seasick” was the introduction to the first of two fairly recent songs ‘Sea Song’ and ‘The Feeling’ then it was back to the old stuff with ‘She Is The Slave’. “Fancy doing this stuff at our age eh?” got a few chuckles from the audience before Rob played the bass intro to ‘Movement’ as a teaser and then for real. The excellent Patti Smith cover ‘Freemoney’ was next which ran into ‘Silent Community’ and ‘Don’t Dictate’ which finally got the mosh pit moving. ‘Reunion’ was introduced as “A song about reflection”, band introductions were made as Reunion faded out and a blistering version of ‘Nostalgia’ followed. The main set finished with ‘Come Into The Open’ and the regular closing track ‘Shout Above The Noise’
The band left the stage to loads of clapping and cheering for more and the band duly obliged with the same encore as at Derby, ‘Firing Squad’, ‘Danger Signs’ and finally ‘Stone Heroes’.

Another excellent gig from the band and I’m disappointed I won’t make any more of their gigs from this tour as they are really good at the moment.
If you get the chance then don’t hesitate, just go.
It will be a good one.

Upcoming shows are:
10th April Institute, Birmingham
11th April Garage, London
12th April Academy 3, Manchester
18th April The Fleece, Bristol
19th April The Globe, Cardiff
26th April ABC, Glasgow
4th May Academy, Newcastle upon Tyne
15th May Voodoo, Belfast
16th May Fibber Magees, Dublin
9th August Rebellion, Blackpool (TBC)
20th September Undercover Festival, Woking