British Brian Fallon fans’ prayers might not get them to heaven, but they’ve been answered here on earth as the Gaslight Anthem frontman is back this side of the Atlantic this month for the third time in the space of a year.
The US alternative rock singer-songwriter is back in Newcastle tomorrow, February 5, for his third show in the city since the band went on hiatus in 2015.
The New Jersey-born 39-year-old’s last visit to this neck of the woods, backed up by the Howling Weather, was in March last year to the Boiler Shop to promote his second solo album, Sleepwalkers, a No 13 hit released the month previously.
That followed a show at the city’s O2 Academy in November 2016 with the Crowes to plug his debut solo LP, that year’s Painkillers, also a No 13 hit.
In between, Fallon got back together with the Gaslight Anthem to mark the 10th anniversary of the release of their breakthrough second album, The ’59 Sound, a No 55 hit here and a No 70 in America in 2008.
All three of the albums that followed from the band – formed in New Jersey in 2006 and made up of, besides Fallon, Alex Rosamilia on lead guitar, Alex Levine on bass guitar and Benny Horowitz on drums – made the top 20, American Slang reaching No 18 in 2010, Handwritten No 2 in 2012 and Get Hurt No 4 in 2014.
Their reunion tour didn’t bring them back to the north east, stopping off only in London, Manchester, Dublin and Glasgow last July, but consolation for that omission is at hand this week.
Tomorrow’s show, at Wylam Brewery in Exhibition Park, will be Fallon’s fifth in Newcastle, his first two being with the Gaslight Anthem at the 02 Academy in November 2010 and with Dan Andriano, Chuck Ragan and Dave Hause at Northumbria University’s students’ union the year after.
“I’m very excited to be able to come back over to the UK and do my solo acoustic and piano shows – many songs and many stories,” said Fallon.
There’ll be no Crowes or Horrible Weather to back him up this time round as he’ll be playing a solo acoustic set, as will special guest Craig Finn.
Fallon has no new material to plug on this tour, called Songs From the Hymnal, but fellow US singer-songwriter Finn has, the Hold Steady frontman’s fourth solo LP, I Need a War, being due out on Friday, April 26.
It’s the third album in a trilogy, following 2015’s Faith in the Future and 2017’s We All Want the Same Things.
“Going in, I saw this record as the third part of a trilogy,” said Massachusetts-born Finn, 47.
“Thematically, this was the third group of songs that I had written about smaller moments – people trying to stay afloat in modern times, attempting to find connection, achieving tiny triumphs and frustrating let-downs in their day-to-day lives.”
“Perhaps forward motion is everything,” he said. “The characters in the songs on this record, and the last two, are trying to keep up and keep their heads above water. They succeed or they don’t, but their stories are the tales of their attempts at pushing ahead, and so, with my own push forward, I feel lucky and excited to be sharing these songs and stories.”
Tomorrow’s Newcastle show is the first of 10 in the UK for the pair, with others following in Edinburgh, Manchester, London, Cambridge, Brighton, Bath and Cardiff.