Live Review: Sam Fender – Tynemouth

Sam Fender

Tynemouth Castle 11th July 2019
Words: Lauren Mellor

Mouth of the Tyne Festival was the homecoming show every Geordie has been waiting for; Sam Fender returning to the North East with a headline show in his childhood home was one of the most heart-warming accomplishments for a musician you could hope to see. 

This was my first time going to the festival in Tynemouth, and my first time going to the priory, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. We lucked out with the sun finally shining in the afternoon, so it was the perfect setting right on the coast for a different type of festival. Like any festival you’ve been to, there was a few local food-truck vans (although unfortunately lacking in vegan options) and a bar stocked with a pretty decent range of beers and ciders – so there was plenty of options to fill your boots. 


First to hit the stage was Rachel Chinouriri, who I hadn’t come across beforehand but was pleasantly blown away by her melodic vocal and slow songs of heartbreak. Chinouriri provided the perfect opening to the festival – it was relaxing yet energetic, with the crowd singing along and sipping on their ice-cold beers it was the ideal summer festival atmosphere. What I loved about Chinouriri’s set was her gentle energy and chilled out vibes, which made for the perfect opener to the festival. 


Next up was Little Comets, a band actually from the North East also, which made a really nice complement to what was to come from Sam Fender. I won’t lie in that I was a little gutted that these lads didn’t play my favourite song American Tuna, nevertheless they still performed a brilliant set. They truly got the crowd warmed up and tied in nicely with the summer vibes that Chinouriri had previously provided. Described as a ‘kitchen sink’ indie music band, it’s fair to say these guys have a fairly eclectic mix on songs, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It actually meant they provided a strong mix of indie songs, so there was a bit of something for everyone. Their set had plenty of songs that you can dance along to, so what more could you ask for at a festival. They’re definitely a band to keep your eye on, with their success coming on leaps and bounds the past few years, these guys are going places.


And of course, the main event itself was up next, Sam Fender himself. This was my first time seeing him live, so as you can imagine I was all kinds of giddy with excitement to hear some of my favourite songs live and with a crowd that I knew fully backed Fender to the end of the world. There’s something so harmonic about seeing a musician in their hometown; it creates a real community feel. What’s more, is that everyone in Newcastle are so well known for the friendliness, and that was reflected in the atmosphere of the crowd. Everyone was there to just have a good time and sing their hearts out. Sure, there was plenty of ‘mosh-pits’ to let loose in, but there was no aggressive shoving or overcrowding, everyone gave people the space they needed. 


Fender was of course completely enthralled and grateful for the turn out and he certainly gave the people what they wanted. Coming out to the sounds of Toon Army, with a band dressed in NUFC strips, it was clear he felt proud to be back in his hometown. His sets lived up to expectations with energy and crowd-pleasing floor fillers, he delivered a truly dynamic set including his big singles Play God and Hypersonic Missiles.  Ending on an ultimate high, with a now ever-popular cover of Oasis’s Morning Glory, everyone in the crowd gave it their all – singing out every word and of course creating the biggest mosh-pit of the night. I can safely say that Sam and his band know how to put on a show, and I’ll definitely be eager to see them live again soon.


Overall, I can happily say it was one of the best festivals I’ve been to, down to the great organisation of the full event, the friendly crowd and the amazing performances from each act, I’m sure I’ll be hitting up another Mouth of the Tyne Festival in the future. I’m just sad I couldn’t make it to the rest of the festival that’s happening all this weekend. 

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