Gig Review: The Pale White – Newcastle Riverside

After amassing a strong following thanks to thousands of streams on Spotify, old-fashioned word-of-mouth and supporting The Amazons on their sold out UK tour, Newcastle Upon Tyne trio The Pale White has struck a chord with a new generation of indie-rock fans.

It’s easy to see why they’ve made a particular impact on stage: The Pale White is a formidable, infectious live band, whose eruption of garage, grunge and southern rock combined with Adam’s charismatic crooning turn the jam-packed audience into a heaving mass in an instance. Their sound is unique and bursting with that cutting-edge style which perfectly matches their stage positioning and aesthetic.


The fact that they’ve managed to build such a considerable following with just a 4 track EP of slick, distinctive garage rock is a testament to the power of the almighty riff. In the main, The Pale White has struck a fine balance between style and substance and it’s heartening to see a band that has made barely even started their journey look so at ease with a stage and each other.

As soon as the notes rockets out, there is no hesitation in immediately recognising the trio and the energy that emanates from their compositions. It’s fast, frenetic with obvious fluidity and oozes charisma. The riffs, like that of Turn It Around, a track that stealthily reminds one of 2009’ Arctic Monkeys, the palpable anxiety of Let You Down or the devastating rhythm section of Downer, showcase the control and songwriting prowess and is a timely reminder that rock music is not dead. 

The Hope brothers and bassist Tom Booth are not remotely intimidated by the capacious, venue that has seen some of the biggest artists in recent time: amps dialled satisfyingly past 11, fuzz kicked on and inch-perfect drum fills, they careen dangerously about the stage enticing the crowd and soak in the atmosphere. The precision in which they attack their riffs and the evening is something to behold.

Tonight’s gig is a celebration of one of the UK’s rising rock bands, a communal gathering that will not only have band members reminiscing. Playing to a packed out Newcastle Riverside, the group has become a conversation piece around Newcastle, with their tracks Reaction and That Dress becoming popular plays on the air and on music streaming websites.


In the main, The Pale White are a corporal, sonic thrill, an adventure of riffs, hooks and hellacious swagger. By the time a thumping medley of ‘Reaction’ brings the set to a close, it’s clear The Pale White have triumphed in one of Newcastle’s most revered venues.

While they’ve supported bands like Band of Skulls and Maximo Park, it is evidently clear that support slots will be a thing of the past. 2017 has been a memorable year for the trio and they have started 2018 in the best way possible, but one can’t help feel that future years will eclipse the blossoming start the lads have already made.

Photography: Scott Davidson & Daniel Stark

Words: Matthew Thomas