If you have just stumbled across this article thinking you are about to discover a new recipe for calamari, then guess again, however do stay and make yourselves comfortable as I am about to tell you about a different type of Squid, a Bristol based band who are destined for great and amazing things.
This year alone has been a extremely productive one which included the release of their debut album Bright Green Field followed by their EP, Near The Westway back in August 2021. If that was not cool enough, their music even attracted the attention of music legend Jools Holland who even invited the guys to be guests on one of his shows.
As a Squid fan myself with a lot of admiration for lead vocalist Ollie Judge and the guys, my smile was even more beaming when I heard that they would be coming to Newcastle as part of their UK headline tour, especially as with the halt on live music due to the pandemic, after months of vibing off their incredible album, I would finally be able to see them live in front of me for the first time ever.
The 27th October 2021 was a busy night in Newcastle for different shows, with the likes of Paloma Faith playing only just round the corner, plus a few more other shows taking place across the city too - however hand on heart with #sorrynotsorry energy flowing through me, I was proud to be stood here in the basement of Newcastle University student union ready to see one of my new favourite bands of 2021 come onto stage.
The atmosphere in the room was one of excitement, groups of friends chatting away telling each other about some of the things they love about Squid and the usual rhetoric which comes with any curious music fan ‘I wonder if they will play…..’. Meanwhile in the background the support band are doing a sterling job warming up the crowd, as I notice a few head bops and toe tapping from some of the people around me.
With the lights down and the adrenaline at excessive levels (especially for me), the introduction begins as one by one, all five members take to the stage, with our main man Ollie Judge taking centre stage in front of the drums. Already I feel that this is going to be a special show, because from my experience at least I have not really had many opportunities where the lead vocalist is also the drummer. With all members present, the band waste no time in pleasing their fans as they go straight into Sludge, a classic of a track which they released back in 2021. The drums, the riffs of Laurie, Anton and Louis, and Arthur adding some creative genius with percussion and keys. Add the vocals and oh my day's mind blown! I am loving it, and it does take long until the crowd are jumping up and down, with some even creating a fin mosh pit as they feed off the energy of our hosts for the night.
Understandably with this being the first times Squid fans are able to hear the debut album live, you cannot blame the fans eager to hear the body of work which represents Bright Green Field, and thankfully the band wasted no time keeping the audience in suspense as they played G.S.K. If you have listened to the album version you will know that it has quite of groovy build up to it, so I was intrigued even my self to see how this would work on stage, but oh my days, Squid took it to another level, and had kept people captivated.
One of my favourites from the live set was Boy Racer. I just love the almost poetic narrative with the lyrics and when you couple that together with the 5 chaps from Bristol working their magic with their instruments being the talented devils they are, it just gives the song an even more extra level of beauty. Other songs on the night which brought out a lot of delight included Peel St and Narrator.
With the night almost coming to a close, it was about time for Olly, Laurie, Anton and Arthur to break our hearts and leave us, but not without respecting the customary part of any live show - the all important encore. Usually when it comes to this part of the night people tend to leave early, but due to the band successfully making the fans love them even more these lads and lasses weren't going anywhere without one final slice of Squid on their Monday night.
Based on all the happy faces I see around me, I can confidently say that this Newcastle crowd have well and truly embraced Squid, which you could tell the band themselves were almost appreciative of as they put their heart and their soul to ensure they left their fans with a good first impression! As for me, as a still relatively newish Squid fan, I was in my element, and makes me even more excited about what the next chapter has in store for a band who are well and truly on their way to being out of the biggest breakthrough bands of 2021 and beyond. So next time you go to a Squid show in the region, and you see someone holding up a sign in the crowd saying SQUID WE LOVE YOU, don’t worry that’s just me! Until then, ciao for my friends!
Article By Thushara Chandrasiri- Photography By Callum Robinson