Recorded at his sell out concert at London’s Finsbury Park last summer this double-coloured vinyl standalone album captures the moment when the North East singer proved that he is one of his generation’s standout talents.
Whilst we can forgive him for not waiting to record his homecoming gigs at St James’ Park in Newcastle next summer, this stunning album makes the listener feel as if they were at one of his live gigs – and make you want to try and get a ticket for one of his gigs. Fender has recently been announced as one of the headliners at the Leeds Festival in 2023.
Often compared to Bruce Springsteen, the comparisons do seem valid – set opener Will We Talk comes with all the energy of a Springsteen song set against a rebel rousing chorus with Fender in full flow.
Dedicating Dead Boys to his hometown North Shields and people who are not with us anymore, I would guess most southerners would probably not know where North Shields is! Well, I am sure they do now.
Showing that he is not rocking all the time tracks such as Mantra and Better of Me contrast well as he can be reflective besides upbeat.
Howden Aldi Death Queue is another reference to his native North East. I wonder how many people have been into the store and sung this song whilst they have been in one of Aldi’s long queues at the checkout? Sung against a punk rock vibe the track sees any Springsteen references vanished, think more Buzzocks or Sex Pistols in the mix here.
By the time Fender gets to Seventeen Going Under you can almost touch the atmosphere as it becomes electric. Anyone who saw him in the early days playing the clubs around the North East will be wearing a proud smile when he performs the track at St James’ Park next summer – the singing of the crowd will be heard in from Sunderland to South Shields …and of course North Shields.
The crowd remain in full force on Hypersonic Missiles as the live album closes as Fender makes you feel to be proud to come from the North East. Get that bottle of Newcastle Brown open, kick back and listen to this electric live album – which is nearly as good as being there.
Friday 9 and Saturday 10 June – St James’ Park – Newcastle-sold out
Leeds Festival – Saturday 26 August 2023