At Northumbria University in Newcastle, Jonjo McNeill watches sleazy American synth duo Shy Child kick up a storm
Back to being a three piece after the amicable departure of guitarist Charlotte Hatherley, Jonjo McNeill finds pop punk Ash have lost none of their passion in a sharp and edgy set at Northumbria University
Maximo Park enjoyed a great year in 2005, with a Top 10 album, a sold out UK tour and a Mercury Music Prize nomination. At a homecoming Christmas gig in their native Newcastle, Jonjo McNeill sees the boy who left as small fry come back as stars
After a dreadful week in the media, Peter Doherty's Babyshambles band hit Newcastle. Jonjo McNeill watches them give a low key yet passionate performance in which the music far out played the hype
The Conway Story play emotion-led power pop and have just released their second single 'Photogenic'. With their debut album on the way next year, Jonjo McNeill, catching them supporting the Bluetones in Newcastle, warns us to prepare for their impact
At its Carling Academy, Jonjo McNeill watches controversial duo the Kills play a riveting set and "the sleaziest, most glamorous rock and roll Newcastle's seen for quite some time"
Oasis have attracted a lot of bad press in recent years. Jonjo McNeill, however, finds them back on fiery form at one of three sold out shows at Newcastle's Metro FM Arena
Much hyped Sheffield youngsters Arctic Monkeys have just finished their first UK tour, which entirely sold out. At the Newcastle Cluny Jonjo McNeill is enthralled by "an everyman band" who "we can, and probably will, all fall in love with"
Hot Water Music
After a week solid of watching new bands all over London, a burnt out and hungover Jonjo McNeill still manages to leave the London Garage after seeing Hot Water Music "with the buzz that only comes with an outstanding gig"
In an incredible show featuring a guest performance from the Who's Roger Daltrey, Jonjo McNeill watches Manchester's Doves transfrom London's prestigious Royal Albert Hall "from a dull, upper class opera house into a sweaty Northern indie club"
Puressence have been through the wars recently, getting dropped by their record label, and having had to cancel their last Sheffield gig because of illness, but Jonjo McNeill finds them playing "one of the most passionate sets the Boardwalk has ever seen"
The latest object of the NME's unfaltering love, Australia's the Vines have been attracting enormous critical interest. Jonjo McNeill at an sometimes lacklustre show in London is not totally convinced by the hype