Motion Tourist E.P. Launch by Jay Dawson

Jay Dawson Thinks Back To 26th July 2011

Motion Tourist E.P. Launch

The boys from Motion Tourist chose the close quarters of the Bridge Hotel,Newcastleto launch their E.P ‘Hearts & Heads’. The venue was quite a modest abode, compared to some of the larger and newer venues inNewcastle, but it was quite a humble little place. After a good half hour of trying to find the place, I found it next to the High-pass bridge, just offNewcastle’s beautiful quayside.

I arrived at 7.30pm, a good hour before the show was set to kick off, and even then, there were dozens of people ready for the music. After an interview with Martin from ‘The Lake Poets’ outside of the venue, Samantha and myself went inside and made ourselves comfortable for the show.

First on stage was ‘This Little Bird’. Rebecca had a really strong and confident voice that drowed out the idle chit chat of the room. This wasn’t what I was expecting from her as an opening act! I think her voice works really well in the Bridge as a small venue, but I’m not quite sure as to how it would go down in a bigger one. Her second song was even stronger than the first, with harder strumming and an even clearer voice. It’s hard to find a musician whose lyrics you can make out word for word.

Her stage presence was decent for what she had to work with, even though she wasn’t jumping off walls with her guitar around her neck, she didn’t stand on the spot. She seemed really passionate and emotionally involved with her music, by the way her eyes closed for the higher notes and the calm and collected expressions on her face throughout the set. All round, she was very captivating on stage.

For the third song of the set, another musician took the stage with her. There was a very good compatibility between these two musicians. The backing vocals worked well but it was definitely Rebecca’s voice that was the centre of attention, which was really effective for their music. Overall, they both played really well bearing in mind that they were an opening act and the event’s main focus was on Motion Tourist.

Next on stage was Martin Longstaff of ‘The Lake Poets’. Breaking the ice with a friendly north-east ‘AREET?’ he soon captivated the audience with his calming vocals and emotional songs. Martin consistently held great tone and pitch throughout his set and didn’t sing a word out of tune. After listening to his recorded music, I could barely differentiate it from his live sound.  He was very passionate with his acoustic guitar and had a voice to compliment it.  His expressive guitar strumming was most prevalent in ‘Windowsill’ I think, especially at the start of the song. I really felt ‘Windowsill’ and ‘friends’ and I’m sure the rest of the listeners did too.

He seemed to perform all of his songs from the heart. He dedicated a song to his Grandad, who build boats. It was a really touching song and I’m sure he makes his family proud with songs like ‘April’. After a few songs, Martin asked Morris to come on stage as a vocalist. He too seemed really comfortable and relaxed on stage and with the music. For the next song, Martin asked his friend steve to come on stage with his harmonica. At the start, Martin’s guitar drowned out the harmonica, but soon they worked hand and hand, and the harmonica was even louder than the guitar at times.

After getting people interested enough, Martin admitted where he was from and quoted “it might split the room, but I’m fromSunderland”. The last song [City by the sea] was all about living in the North East. This song was exceptional, and it really shows how much talent the North has, and how much of an inspiration places likeSunderlandcan be to people who appreciate it. What better note to close with than a nice uplifting song about being proud of your roots.

Motion Tourist were last to take the stage later that night. Opening their set with some bouncy synth beats, the boys soon got on with the show. The bands initial image shows clear style and upstage confidence, and it seems by their performance that they have a decent band relationship. The 4 piece struggled for space on the smaller stage, which gave them a slight disadvantage to the other acts. The bass-player was pushed to the side of the stage in the darkness and it seemed it was only Michael [Vocalist] and the drummer who were in the ‘lime light’. The set started really loudly, completely uncomplimentary to the other two acts, but after turning it down a little, their sound was easier on the ear. Like I mentioned earlier, I think bigger bands benefit more from bigger venues, whereas smaller acoustic acts are preferred in smaller venues like The Bridge.

Michael [lead vocalist] took full advantage of the length of his guitar cable by moving into the large gap between the stage and crowd. The gap seemed smaller for the other acts, perhaps for the volume of the music probably. In my opinion, this band could benefit more from a larger stage with better lighting. Ignition festival is going to be perfect for this band.

There was a large variety of fans in gender and age range, primarily male in late teens to early twenties like the band.

I’d say the band need to focus on writing some more material with a slightly different sound as most of the songs have the same ring to them. The band have a great sense of individuality, but a selection of sounds within a band work well and  can prove to appeal to a wider audience. But the boys of Motion Tourist definitely have a sound to watch out for! So keep watching!


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