Andrew Cushin & Michael Gallagher – LIVE Review – Guest Writer Mr Dan Potter

Independent, Sunderland

Promoter: This Feeling

Friday 10th September 2021

Every good story usually starts with a beginning, middle and end, however this particular tale will start at the end, the next morning.

Waking up to a double whammy of a hangover that makes your head feel like a tonne weight combined with remembering a hideously expensive taxi home was not the greatest start to Saturday morning.

However, I was safe in the knowledge that I’d witnessed something brilliant the night before, something that not many had seen before me. The feeling similar to when I seen Arctic Monkeys before 99% of people at Sunderland Student Union bar before their first single had even hit the shelves.

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you Andrew Cushin, a 21 year old from Newcastle who is a super talented songwriter with a successful career ahead of him and surprisingly tall to boot. More about that later.

I was attending this particular gig with my good friend Neil, who really hadn’t heard much of the talent on show tonight but he certainly would leave as a fan.

After a beer before the gig (£4.40 for two pints of Bud Light at Yates!) we headed into Independent which has changed quite a bit from when I played there many moons ago! It seemed like a maze of different rooms.

After accompanying ourselves with some cans of the dingy club classic Red Stripe we found a neat little spot next to the merch stand, manned by Andrews mother and auntie, how cool is that!

Michael Gallagher hits the stage at 8:40 fresh from a 7pm-7am nightshift the night before and says ‘My name is Michael Gallagher from Hartlepool’ and bursts into opening track, a 2019 song called Out Forever which goes down a storm.

Then into a flurry of instantly likeable tunes, especially the recent singles Lula, Gone and my personal favourite, a super track called Time.

Starting with some ooh oohs and then spiky guitar sounds, it speaks of girls from the south side combined with a chorus that tells the tale of someone falling in love by the sounds of it. Well, that’s my interpretation anyway.

Towards the end of the set we are treated to a rendition of his new single, a tune called Fallen out on 24th September.

Last song of the set was Sometimes, one of those songs that builds in the beginning and then has the kick off moment. Another to listen out for.

Overall, Michael had done a great job of warming the stage for Andrew.

While the stage gear was being swapped over, we realised we were actually standing in the hottest room on earth. The type of heat you only experience at small intimate venues, god it felt good! It brought back happy memories of when I used to play under the lights, starting the night with hair like Liam Gallagher and ending it looking like Fabriccio Coloccini, google it, it’s true. Don’t mock, it’s an unfortunate illness docs call curly hair syndrome.

Now it was time for the main man to hit the stage. The room started to really fill up and Andrew says ‘come forward get closer.’ I don’t think people needed any encouraging to get amongst the action.

Opening the set with two new tunes which instantly will be bookmarked to watch out for upon release, it made me reminisce about Oasis opening up at Maine Road with two B sides, similar levels here and not the only likeness to Noel Gallagher either.

Catch Me If You Can and Hollywood if you believe the rumours will be featured on an upcoming EP, it’s going to fly out so keep your eyes peeled on his socials.

My friend Neil turns to me and says this is just like watching the high flying birds. I’m not even sure at this point if he knew of the Andrew & NG hook up. If you don’t know about it. I’ll let you research that yourselves.

Then another new one to me, riding on my one it’s called. It has a Jake Bugg / 12 bar blues feel to it, high in tempo means people are jumping about and of course increasing the temperature in the inferno.

Then we are treated to a run of the big hits one after another.

It’s Gonna Get Better

Memories

Waiting for the Rain

He has people eating out his hands at this juncture in the show. 500,000 streams between those songs alone means every word is being sang back to him, must be an incredible feeling.

Moving through the gears, he plays 4.5% and You Don’t Belong. Sandwiched in-between those tunes is a cracker of a song called Yeah Yeah Yeah which was one to watch out for in the future.

Then we finish off with a real huge singalong, Where’s My Family Gone? is a song built on personal emotion however relatable to every person in the room who knows every lyric.

We think it’s the end, however, we have room for one more; so the last tune of the night is We’re Going Home which ends to rapturous applause and celebration.

The first night of the headline tour was done and for this observer who’s been tracking the progress of Andrew and Michael for some time now; it felt like a huge success for emerging music.

Off into Sunderland now for a few Old Fashioned cocktails, that’s the name of them by the way… not a reflection of my age. I’m starting to realise that this was the cause of the hangover.

Then onto the most expensive taxi ride ever.

As I walk the dogs in the fresh air trying to make myself feel human again, I remember that Andrew is going from one boiling room to The Boiler Shop in Newcastle the following night. A triumphant hometown show with 1200 tickets sold.

As he says himself, it’s gonna get better.

Dan Potter

Host of Friday Night Live on In Your Ears Music

New Music Supporter

Hungover

Ps – special shout out for the men behind the scenes, great to meet Leigh and James, Andrew and Michael’s managers respectively. It was also a pleasure to meet in person both the lads I’ve interviewed before on In Your Ears Music.

PS 2 – Andrew is very tall. Bear this in mind if you get a photo.

Thanks for reading

Peace n Love

Dan

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