Review by Amelia Barker and Grace Barker

MUSIC fans were swept away by the tsunami of talent that made up the Shields spectacular of SoundWaves 2013.

The one day open air event was held in Bents Park, South Shields and drew in thousands of music fans young and old to welcome home-grown singing stars Little Mix and Joe McElderry as well as chart-topping guitar band McFly, Britain’s Got Talent finalists the Luminites and teen favourites The Vamps, who are being hailed as “the next big thing”.

Bradley with James and Connor from The Vamps PIC: AMELIA BARKER

Bradley with James and Connor from The Vamps

And while the majority of acts (apart from locals Little Mix and Joe McElderry) displayed a lack of geography at where they actually were – with regular shout outs to being at Newcastle – the high octane performances were right on target.

First up on the stage were guitar band The Vamps, who have a massive teen following and to date their hugely popular covers of tracks by the likes of Taylor Swift and One Direction, have logged more than 13 million views on You Tube. The band, who are now trying to get known for their own material, served up an energetic set to get the crowd going that contained their own songs – such as the new single Can We Dance and She Was the One – as well as guitar-fuelled covers of The Killers’ Mr Brightside and Simon and Garfunkel’s Cecilia.


The Luminites


Britain’s Got Talent finalists the Luminites kept the party spirit going with a feel-good set that contained a couple of their own tunes as well as a range of covers from Rihanna’s We Found Love and Alicia Keys’ New York to a contemporary version of Janis Joplin’s To Love Somebody that got the whole crowd on their feet.






Joe McElderry PIC: Amelia Barker

Joe McElderry
PIC: Amelia Barker

Home-grown Joe McElderry got a rousing welcome when he took to the stage, correctly addressing the South Shields crowd before launching into a set filled with his own tunes – Here’s What I Believe and Ambitions – as well as a surprisingly large amount of covers which included Daft Punk’s Get Lucky, Katy Perry’s Part of Me and a repeat of his X Factor performance of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’.Any shortfalls in original material seemed to be forgiven by the crowd who were buoyed along by Joe’s energetic performance and attempts to teach the crowd a range of dance moves.

A performance of Nessun Dorma illustrated Joe’s impressive vocal range before he finished with the X Factor winner’s single The Climb.




Little Mix PIC: Soundwaves

Little Mix
PIC: Soundwaves

Perrie and Jade from Little Mix PIC: Amelia Barker

Perrie and Jade from Little Mix
PIC: Amelia Barker

Fellow Shields performers Perrie Edwards and Jade Thirlwall took to the stage next with their Little Mix bandmates to a rousing welcome from the crowd. A wide range of banners – many congratulating Perrie on her recent engagement to One Direction’s Zayn Malik – showed that this was the live act many had come to see.

And Jade and Perrie – who were making their first appearance back on home turf since winning the X Factor in 2011 – didn’t disappoint.

Alongside their band mates, Jesy Nelson and Leigh-Anne Pinnock, they performed tracks such as DNA, Wings, Change Your Life and How Ya Doin? from their debut album DNA, which recently stormed the charts in both the US and UK.

Covers of Katy Perry’s ET and Nicki Minaj’s Super Bass were also threaded seamlessly among the band’s own material.

McFly PIC: Amelia Barker

PIC: Amelia Barker

Finally it was time for chart-toppers McFly to take to the stage with a rousing set that contained many of the hits from their 10 year career.

The boys demonstrated their live performance credentials as they delivered power-packed tune after tune while joking with the crowd as they practised their Geordie accents and at one point inviting a girl from the audience on to the stage to play Dougie’s bass.

Opening with Star Girl, Dougie, Tom, Harry and Danny delivered a crowd-pleasing set which included Five Colours in Her Hair, Shine a Light, Obviously and Here’s Another Song for the Radio.

Tom picked up a pink ukulele to deliver the hit Love is Easy before the band performed an encore of All About You and The Heart Never Lies.

More than 5,000 people turned out to support this one day gig, which was organised by South Tyneside Council and sponsored  by Port of Tyne, Dicksons and Colmans.

And judging by the success of this event, let’s hope it becomes a regular fixture on the region’s musical calendar.