LIVE SHOW GALLERY + REVIEW // Jones The Cat and The Pits (The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle)

WORDS BY TARA CAMPBELL
IMAGES BY GEORGIA GRIFFITHS

It seemed like, for quite some time, that we weren’t going to be getting to see live music in 2020. However, with altered venues and a LOT of QR codes, classic venues (like The Cambridge Hotel) are beginning to let punters back in for socially distanced, seated gigs.

Jones The Cat are as punk rock as it gets, and to be quite frank, I wasn’t too certain how well a seated show of theirs would go down- no crowd surfing or moshing, no spilling beers on mates and climbing on stage. After heading to the Cambridge Hotel on the 18th of September, I was pleasantly surprised. Joined by self-proclaimed ‘Cabaret-Punk Rock’ band The Pits, I left the venue with my ears ringing and a firm belief that live music is back and it’s here to stay.

The Pits are nothing that you would expect to hear at a local show. Fronted by recent NIDA Musical Theatre graduate Xander Watts, The Pits are truly indescribable. Musical Theatre meets punk rock, with a bit of screaming in there too. With a bizarre setlist (perfect), featuring everything from popular original track ‘Salt’, to covers of ‘Crazy In Love’, ‘Let’s Get it Started’ and ‘A Whole New World’, the band definitely know how to have fun. Towards the end of their set, the energy by all members was maintained, and the brass section linked arms to do a kick line. Yep, you heard me- a kick line. All-in-all, I would describe this band as “Panic! At The Disco, but punk rock”. I highly recommend checking out The Pits immediately.

Jones The Cat marched on stage with the familiar high-energy fans of the band know and love. From the four-piece band’s coordinated stage clothing, to the perfectly complimented lighting- Jones The Cat put on a solid show. With sweat pouring off them within the first few songs, the band gave it everything, to put on one of the most high-energy gigs I’ve ever seen.

If 100% is the most that a person can give, we’re going to need a higher number for the amount of energy Jones The Cat gave.

Even though the gig was seated, fans still screamed along to the lyrics of their favourite tracks and rocked out in their chairs; there wasn’t a person in the room sitting still. Taking requests from the audience, Jones The Cat enthusiastically played ‘Stay Perfect’ before ending the set with personal favourite- a cover of ‘Bulls on Parade’ (Rage Against The Machine). There’s a reason fans love Jones The Cat, and each time they play this cover, it’s clear that all four members are phenomenally talented musicians both independently, as incredibly tight as a band.

Crowds screamed for an encore, and JTC met the request with ‘Bitter Prick’ before sending the crowd home, with ringing ears and one of the best nights of live music they’ve ever had.

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