As a small-time promoter, it’s best to try and keep on top of the talent in your part of the country as well as further afield. It’s equally frustrating, humbling and exciting to find a band that grabs you by the genitals and not quite let go until you’ve messaged their Facebook page, their manager, their agent, their press contact and their lead singer’s mum begging to get them on a show. And Hartlepool’s PLAZA, were somebody upon first listen who screamed testicular torsion.

It was back in summer, whilst scrolling through Soundcloud, I got shuffled into the dreamy math-driven anthem ‘Blood Orange’ and was blown away. I’d heard through social media and some Geordie friends that the North East was swamped with shoegaze/post-rock inspired outfits, but I naively assumed they’d be far from this calibre. All their tracks produced exquisitely, with a pounding rhythm section and atmospheric vocals, PLAZA are truly exceptional.

Sonically, they’re easily compared to the likes of Jaws or Antidotes-era Foals but that would be selling them short. PLAZA are like Ben Weinman and Rachel Goswell’s Five Guys-loving love-child. The four piece really seem to onto a winner with their debut track ‘Totem’ reaching the shores of BBC Radio 1 and latest single ‘Youth’ being premiered in DIY Magazine and being playlisted by the likes of Spotify and MTV. 2017 should be an interesting year for the band and I hope to at least see them on a show sometime soon, if not have them on one of my own.

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