The annual SummerTyne Festival returns to the Sage Gateshead bringing with it a veritable who’s who of the roots music scene.

An Anglo-American bill of epic proportions opens the first night of the festival with British Country artists, Callaghan and Ward Thomas, making a return to the festival, alongside Nashville-based duo, Striking Matches.

Callaghan more recently moved out to the US to pursue her music career but makes a welcome return home with a show in support of her current album, A History of Now. Unlike her last show here where cellist Okorie Johnson accompanied her, tonight she has Aussie guitarist Pete backing her up, which gives her tracks more of a Nashville feel. Callaghan’s storytelling ability makes her show feel intimate. The incredible acoustics of hall one at the Sage Gateshead highlights her amazing voice, particularly on tracks like the heartfelt “When You Love Me.”

Having taken the festival by storm last year, Ward Thomas return to the Sage Gateshead. The group is getting ready to release their sophomore album Cartwheels on September 02. Ward Thomas take the opportunity to preview several of their new numbers tonight including forthcoming single “Guilty Flowers,” which has radio hit wrote all over it and the first song which the pair released from the album, the huge sounding “Carry Me Home.”

Songs like their new number “Safe” has more of a traditional country feel and is enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. The pair delivers some beautiful vocal harmonies throughout. There is also room for several up-tempo numbers from Ward Thomas’ debut album From Where We Stand including the anthemic “The Good and the Right”, “Push For The Stride” before finishing their set with “Town Called Ugly.” Ward Thomas have a bright future ahead of them.

Having just landed on terra firma, The Striking Matches arrived in the UK only a few hours prior and hotfoot it straight to the venue. The duo is no strangers to the Sage Gateshead having played here only a few months prior, but this time, they are upgraded to Hall One since their previous appearance.

The pair’s latest album, Nothing But The Silence, is great, but to see them perform live is something else. The Striking Matches are incredible songwriters, but their guitar playing is such a joy to watch. They are reminiscent of Rodrigo y Gabriella; they play off one another with ease, accentuating their beautiful vocal harmonies,

The Striking Matches are currently writing for their new record and include their new foot stomping, slide guitar number, “Clothesline,” alongside “Miss Me More,” “Trouble is as Trouble Does,” and the heartfelt “He Only Loves Me When It’s Raining” from their latest offering.

Jetlagged or not, based on tonight’s performance from The Striking Matches, you would never have known it.

Striking Matches
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Ward Thomas
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Website | Facebook | Twitter


About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in north-east England. He has been shooting concerts for several years now, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK & Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. Adam considers himself fortunate enough to have shot at some of the most prestigious venues and music festivals around the UK, such as The O2 in London, the Glastonbury Festival, as well as the likes of Madison Square Garden in New York City. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print in Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. Adam is passionate about music and photography, which shows in his work. His taste in music is eclectic and appreciates a diverse selection of genres, from Miles Davis to Metallica, and everything in between. He also has a strong interest in new music, and is on the look out for the next big thing.