Gig Review: Tax The Heat @ Jumpin’ Jacks Newcastle (26/04/2017)

Great British hopes Tax The Heat are readying a brand new record and preparing for a return to Download this summer.

Coming off the back of their debut album, Fed To The Lions, Bristolian rock and rollers Tax The Heat brought their unique sound to Newcastle’s Jumpin’ Jacks ahead of this summer’s hotly anticipated Download return.

But before the headline act there was ample opportunity for local talent to shine.

Newcastle favourites Speeder and Blackjack did a fantastic job of warming up the crowd with energetic performances that encapsulated a classic hard rock style: head banging, lots of hair and high notes hinted at bright futures for both.

Tax The Heat, by contrast, peddle a distinctly different brand of retro-tinged rock and roll. The blazer-clad four piece dived straight into material from their new album, instantly taking command of the stage with a business-like swagger.

After thundering through the two opening songs, frontman Alex Veale reminisced about the band’s previous trip to Tyneside. “This is the second time we’ve played in Newcastle,” he said. “On our last tour we had played in Sheffield the night before and to be honest it wasn’t all that great. We were pretty bummed out but the Newcastle crowd the night after were something special.” How to make friends and influence people…

As well as tracks from their debut album, Tax The Heat also treated the Newcastle crowd to a couple brand new songs. After Money In The Bank was greeted by a massive cheer Veale made a mental note to include it on the band’s next long player.

From start to finish Tax The Heat played with unrelenting energy and confidence. Their slick, modern take on classic rock and roll was captivatingly refreshing.

There’s something to be said for playing with passion and drummer Jack Taylor was the epitome of that passion – sporting a Cheshire cat-like grin and missing no opportunity to get to his feet and smash the cymbals.

Tax The Heat have set the bar for alternative rock and roll. That bar is sky high.

Words by Johnathan Ramsay

Originally written for HRH Magazine