How We Got Our Kicks along the A66; on the Beat, with Robert Nichols

Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England), January 27, 2012 | Go to article overview

How We Got Our Kicks along the A66; on the Beat, with Robert Nichols


ON Friday nights we like nothing better than taking a trip back and forth to get our kicks along Teesside''s route 66.

We took in two gigs in one evening, in the week of star gazing it was apt that we viewed the rising stars of Werbeniuk at the Forum, Darlington, followed by former Seahorses super-star, Mr Chris Helme at Revival, Middlesbrough.

Bill Werbeniuk was a legendary, larger than life Canadian snooker player. Or should that read lager than life because he was infamous for the claim that he would quaff a pint for every frame in a match, having sunk about five before the start of proceedings. Hardly Steve Davis.

Werbeniuk the band are larger than life, a maverick group currently causing a bit of a stir along the A66. They look different, they sound different. Everyone taking turns to bang drums or assorted percussion, switching between guitarists and vocalists.

Organised chaos around the former Spit the Pips bassman Gary Doyle anchoring things with a Korg player Andy Mellor in the corner. The different vocal stylings of Michael Baines, Si Kelly and Jimmy Howes mark Werbeniuk out, as do the songs. The final rousing and riotously raucous Giro''s Eve is an anthem for the times. They''re outsiders but they''re catchy and so they might just catch on.

Time to jump in the car parked right outside the converted Victorian school, now home to the Forum music project of rehearsal, recording, friendly bar and gig venue that was thankfully recently saved for the community. …

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