Coasts Review: A Mixed Night at Riverside

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There is a wealth of indie bands flying around the music industry at the moment but there are only a handful who are truly changing the game.

Riverside in Newcastle is the Geordie-stop of choice for the majority of these indie rockers. For some, the venue is a stepping stone to bigger things. The Hunna performed to a sold-out crowd here in January before continuing their stratospheric rise which recently saw them headlining the Festival Republic Stage at Reading and Leeds Festival. Next month the likes of The Amazons, one of The Courier’s Sounds of 2017, and Tom Grennan will play hotly-anticipated sets. However, for other acts, Riverside is as big as it gets.

For some, the venue is a stepping stone to bigger things. The Hunna performed to a sold-out crowd here in January before continuing their stratospheric rise.

Coasts sit somewhere in between the two. The band can barley have sold half their allocated tickets for the evening, Newcastle University students still waiting to return won’t have helped, disappointing as Riverside is, it’s not a hard venue to sell out for a band with two albums to their name. With so few people in attendance it was always going to be an uphill battle from the moment lead-singer, Chris Caines, bounded on stage after an instrumental build up to begin ‘Modern Love’.

Disappointing as Riverside is, it’s not a hard venue to sell out for a band with two albums to their name.

It really is a story of ‘nearly, not quite’ during the 50-minute set. Caines’ attempt to kickstart an “Ohhh Rafa Benitez” chants nearly takes off thanks to a group of intoxicated youths but falls flat moments later. The same group of fans later throw a baseball cap stage-wards which Caines swivels round to don and later flings back into the crowd with a rock star-like carelessness which does engage the audience.

The lingering pre-chorus followed by thudding drums of ‘Tonight’ is a moment to remember. It’s that popularised indie-rock sound with enough of Coasts’ unique tropical twist to make a track which bounces off the walls of Riverside. Sadly, instants like this are too few and far between. The band are capable of producing songs of this quality but are yet to perfect the formula that makes every release a fan-favourite.

The night climaxed with what was an exceptional performance of the groups’ most successful number, ‘Oceans’. The whole band’s personality glitzed with the knowledge of just how good this track is. That final effort was on par with anything The Hunna managed in January and, daresay, anything The Amazons will muster in October.

The band are capable of producing songs of this quality but are yet to perfect the formula that makes every release a fan-favourite.

A packed Riverside could have made Wednesday night a very different story – the hallmarks of a class live band are there. It is shifting up a gear to sell those tickets that will prove the challenge.

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