Review: Otherkin @ Surf Cafe

Image: Jake Haseldine

By day, the Surf Café in Tynemouth serves to warm up frozen shredders after a dip in the North Sea. By night, it gives them a party.

An intimate space, kitted out with boards, bikes and various other decorative media, there’s no other venue quite like it. You won’t need to traipse back and forth from the bar, as likelihood is you’re already stood right next to it. You’re also never more than a couple of metres away from the band, who pitch up on ground level. No barriers, no intricate light displays, no faff, just the artists and the audience. Though it’s always a bit of a squeeze, its incredibly laid back and the staff are welcoming and passionate about sharing good music and a good time.

Keen to support emerging artists, there’s nearly always two support acts at Surf Café, so you definitely get bangers for your buck. This time it Savana and Feva. Both proved themselves more than worthy of a warm up spot, pleasing the crowd with confident, punchy vocals and their own unique styles. Both local talent you need to be watching!

If you’re off to watch Irish four-piece Otherkin, be prepared to get up close and personal- because you don’t have a choice. Whether you decide to stand at the front, the middle or the back, you will inevitably be greeted by Luke Reilly as he stomps his way into the audience. There is no distinction between stage and audience in his eyes, as he constantly departs from the safety of his mic stand to ensure the crowd are as involved as possible. He didn’t stop there. Climbing on a drum set is for rookies; climbing on door frames is the new cool.

Otherkin played some familiar tracks from their 2015 EP, like ‘Ay Ay’, but also treated us to hit tracks from their debut album Ok, released in September this year, such as ‘Feel it’, ‘Come on, Hello’ and ‘Razorhead’ – which turns out to be based on an encounter in Dublin the band had with a drug dealer desperate to make some cash to save his life.

If you’re after shameless, straight in, no nonsense garage-punk look no further.

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