Come one come all the circus is in town! But with a twist… This is the rock ’n’ roll circus. Over two nights we were thoroughly entertained by 8 top tier music acts and an array of dazzling performers ranging from stilt walkers to fire dancers.
Upon entering the small festival style arena set up in Newcastle’s exhibition park we were met with a dramatic and colourful big top tent lavishly decorated with everything you’d expect to see within the circus’s of old.
Colourful ribbons and balloons catch your eye and draw you to the stage where first on the roster is local lad Andrew Cushin. His catchy indie tunes set the trail that would lead to singer songwriter legend Noel Gallagher topping the night.
Once Cushin had finished his set we were drawn to the centre of the tent where the circus performers would entertain us between all the music. There were acts of exceptional skill and talent. I was marvelled by feats of strength and balance, and acrobats so limber and flexible that could contort their bodies into fantastical shape
Next up we had Confidence man. A weird and wacky duo that perfectly paired with the theme of the event. Spraying champagne into the crowd in their light up costumes and impeccable style.
The penultimate act, The Charlatans, are britpop legends themselves. Donning his signature coat Tim Burgess shows age hasn’t slowed them down one bit and really got the crowd excited for what was to come next.
The crowd are electric by the time Noel Gallagher graces the stage with his High Flying Birds. It was almost deafening as he took us through both his and the Oasis playbook. The energy stayed high throughout the 15+ song playlist and made sure everyone left with a huge smile on their face.
Two days later we were welcomed back to the circus for The Libertines turn to headline. Local brat pop power siblings Zela were first up. Considering the group only formed during lockdown and have just a few gigs under their belt the energy and performance they brought was nothing less than what you’d expect from seasoned pros and just what we needed to get the night going.
Kids off the estate The Reytons were second up with their upbeat indie anthems with bouncy rhythms followed by Aussie rockers DMA’s. Both kept the night well and truly alive until the headliners The Libertines claimed the stage.
Despite almost loosing their drummer to airline issues they jumped right into the era defying indie hits with Pete Doherty’s and Carl Barrats combined vocals are as great as they’ve ever been.
It was a wonderful combination of entertainment to have seen over the two nights. A combination that should be seen far more often from now on. The skills and talent were out in big force and it was an absolute pleasure to see. The beer was pouring, the food was scoffed and the nights were filled with sense drenching sights and sounds.
Article, Photos & Videography By Sam Wall