The Sage Gateshead
7th November 2008
Producer Boom Pip and Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys created Neon Neon last year with a goal in mind – to create an album that celebrated the lives, wives and death of car designer John DeLorean. “Stainless Style” ended up being nominated for the Mercury Music Prize and with good reason; the album mixed various genres together to create a brilliant collection that has to be one of the albums of the year.
But when they came to the Sage, I didn’t really know what to expect: just a standard show with some flashing lights or something much, much grander?
The group had taken the time to create a series of short films to accompany the music, starting with a look at the manufacturing of DeLorean’s vehicles during “Dream Cars” and moving on to a choppy movie examining the films of actress Raquel Welch while playing an extended version of their single “Raquel”. The mystic voice of DeLorean spoke from beyond the grave to address the band through this time, asking “how did you get inside my head?” after they finished a typically bouncy version of “I Told Her On Alderaan”.
The group were then joined onstage by Har Mar Superstar during “Trick For Treat” and then by their support band, rappers Yo Majesty, for “Sweat Shop” – both sending the temperature to boiling point. They started their encore with the slightly demure “Steel Your Girl” but then ended with a spiced up and feverish extended rendition of “Stainless Style”, marking the death of DeLorean.
This was no ordinary gig – it’s not everyday that you see a band putting in so much effort to try and make the night a special occasion but Neon Neon managed it without looking as if they were trying too hard to impress. It might have been a touch too short but it was spectacular while it lasted.