Stockton Calling – Review (AD)

Saturday 16th April 2022 – What. A. DAY!

As you might know, Adam and I were invited along to this years Stockton Calling and I tell you what, it didn’t disappoint. Their first festival back since the pandemic and our first festival of the year.

It was a special day from start to finish so let me tell you all about it!

From the minute we arrived in Stockton, you could see that the town was buzzing. Music fans from all over were wandering the streets in high spirits donning their festival wristbands and band tees, heading from venue to venue to try and catch as many artists as possible.

You can’t do a festival on an empty stomach so the first thing we did was head to Hope and Union for some scran! They had a limited menu on for the festival (which is a good job because you could see it was going to be a busy day for them) so Adam went for the burger and I went for the parmo because, you know, when in Teesside! Food was great and I’d definitely recommend visiting if you haven’t already.

After food it was time for our first musical stop of the day so we headed to ARC 2 to see the lovely Cara Rose. Her voice is so beautiful and it was a perfect start to our day. While we were there I also bumped into some friends who I haven’t seen in so long. If you’ve been around the Teesside music scene for a few years you might recognise them… Cellar Door!

Next up we headed to The Georgian Theatre to catch a bit of Mr Matthew Fisher before running along to the wonderful record shop that is Sound It Out for the Self Esteem in-store acoustic set! We were lucky enough to make it inside to watch the whole set which was honestly mesmerising. I’m so glad that we got to catch her set in Sound It Out as her headline slot at The Georgian later in the evening clashed with other bands that we wanted to see, so things definitely worked out in our favour here. I still need a proper live Self Esteem experience at some point though!

After this we headed to NARC’s stage at The Green Room listening to the last of Pit Pony as we queued outside. Once we were in we grabbed a drink and got ourselves in a prime position to catch Wax Heart Sodality. Three words to describe their set? Intense, theatrical and loud. Just how I like it! We stuck around the venue to catch bigfatbig who were on after and they were also brilliant. Their singer Robyn has such a powerful voice and I love it!

We were having an amazing day and I was thinking, I don’t know how this can get any better.

Then I discovered Walt Disco.

I can honestly tell you now that I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited about discovering a band. As someone who absolutely adores 80s music, I was totally drawn in by their sound which I’d describe as The Associates meets Sparks – a combination I didn’t realise I needed in my ears until that moment. Full of fun and flamboyance, I was mesmerised by their set. Total highlight of the day for me and I’ve had their album on repeat since! I’m fully convinced that ‘Weightless’ is one of the greatest songs I’ve ever heard just FYI.

After Walt Disco we rushed back to ARC 2 to catch the brilliant Retro Video Club who we’d previously caught at TRNSMT in Glasgow last year so were looking forward to catching again. From there we headed upstairs to ARC main room for a nostalgic hit from the brilliant Pigeon Detectives! Opening with ‘I Found Out’ and going straight into ‘This Is An Emergency’ was the absolute dream start to their set.

We ran from their set halfway through to queue at KU in order to catch The Reytons. I’d not heard their music but Adam was looking forward to catching them so in we went and honestly, what a mint way to finish our day at the festival! The room was bouncing, full of fans singing the words right back to them which was amazing to see and be a part of. Can’t wait to listen to their album now!

We really did have an incredible day at Stockton Calling, trying to catch as many bands/artists as we possibly could. The festival was welcomed back to the town with open arms and I already can’t wait for next year because you best believe that we’ll be there.

Thank you so much to the team for inviting us down and for starting off our festival season in the best way possible!

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