Brix & the Extricated + The Filthy Tongues
Saturday 14th October 2017
@ Georgian Theatre, Stockton

I made a New Years Resolution to see 3 out-of-town bands that I’ve been meaning to see for ages, Joe Bone & the Dark Vibes and All Hail Hyena were both brilliant, so I was eager to get to see the last of them – Filthy Tongues.

After nearly 6 hours on coaches and nearly missing it, narrowly averted by a quick sprint from Lime St to Liverpool One, camera bag flapping in the wind, I was pretty knackered by the time I arrived in my B&B.  It’s a nice room and everything, but run by a bit of a “character”!  It said check-in was  between 4pm-7pm.  There I was at 5.30pm yet she’s all flustered “I was about to phone you, I’m wanting to get away to a party!  Anything you need, I’ll be out so you’ll have to do without!”.  I suppose it’s less boringly predictable than a travelodge, but one pack of coffee, one tea bag and no biscuits is a bit tight!

After getting something to eat from a rather nice gastro-pub type place, I thought I best find out where the venue is.

You have to walk through a maze of alleyways – not ideal on your own in the dark in a town you aren’t familiar with, but nice layout nevertheless with lots of illuminations.

The venue wasn’t open yet so I popped into a pub – which lo and behold turned out to be a Samuel Smith!   I haven’t been in one for a while, so though I remembered they are cheap, you could have peeled me off the floor when the barman asked a mere £1.40 for a pint of lager!

At that price I could have stayed for a few, but it’s a slippery slope and I like to get to a gig early to check out the light etc for taking photographs.

It’s a fab venue, good size, nice layout, good lighting, hard to fault really!  I’m told that Wayne Hussey claimed it was his favourite venue when The Mission reformed – and it’s easy to see why.

Fast Forward, the promoters seem really professional and have some really great shows coming up, I’m sure if I lived near Stockton I’d become a regular (and with that Sam Smith’s pub and their cheap pints, I’ve got to admit it’s tempting!)

The Filthy Tongues

The Filthy Tongues surprised me by going on stage bang on time, which is always a bonus when you’ve turned up early.

They didn’t need any time to warm-up, they hit their stride immediately and sounded amazing, full of energy and passion.

Right away I knew it was the right decision to come, long coach trips and moody landlady’s and all!

Like their album “Jacob’s Ladder” their set was relatively short, but satisfying – no filler, every track blew you away.

Crew Cut
Jacob’s Ladder
Children of the Filthy
Bowhead Saint
Long Time Dead
Green Turn Red
Goodwill City

I didn’t really expect any Goodbye Mr Mackenzie tracks, so it was a nice surprise that they played a couple.

The Filthy Tongues should be absolutely massive, playing all the biggest festivals, if only there were any justice in the music world.

Discerning music folk in Edinburgh know all too well that they are one of Scotland’s best kept secrets – I kind of feel sorry for people who are missing out on them!

Brix & The Extricated

After a short break, Brix and the Extricated came out, and oozed quality from the start.

I once convinced a work colleague to go and see The Fall at Kentish Town Forum with me.  After we’d bought the tickets he told me he was looking forward to an evening of crowd-pleasing Fall classics, and was sure they would play Hit the North.  I didn’t have the heart to tell him that Mark E. Smith may well be a genius, but crowd pleaser he isn’t, and the chances of him playing a “greatest hits” set are pretty slim.

As it turned out, Mr Smith came on to the stage about an hour late, could barely stand up, half heatedly mumbled (more than usual) through a song nobody knew, before someone through a plastic (at least I hope it was!) beer glass at him, he left the stage and never returned – £20 seemed a lot to pay for that, you often remember a Fall gig  for reasons other than the music, but to be fair, when he’s on form, they are brilliant – that’s why we keep taking the risk and go back to see him.

Brix is so talented in her own right that it feels unfair to mention The Fall at all, but then when a band is made up of members of another band, it’s difficult not to reference and compare them.

The Brix era was very much my favourite era of The Fall, and of course it was also their most commercially successful period too.

Brix is very much an entertainer – she knows what the audience want and gives it to them in spades.  Their set interspersed songs from their new album with Fall classics, it was just the right balance of old and new, and every track delivered with a dizzying amount of raw energy and gutsy performance.

Lay of the Land
Feeling Numb
Moonrise Kingdom
Pneumatic Violet
US 80s 90s
Something to Lose
Deadbeat Descendant
Damned for Enternity

Encore 1: Totally Wired
Encore 2: New Big Primz

Every song was a winner, and “Totally Wired” and “New Big Prinz” are two of my favourite fall songs!

The room was full of love, much dancing was going on in the audience, and one girl who was really giving it her all, Brix probably made her night by shaking her hand at the end of the set.

A truly superb gig 10/10


Originally published in Urbanista Magazine UK
Words + Pictures by John W. King