India Arkin & Guests @ Bobiks review: Musical cottage pie by the fire
Written by Lewis Bassindale on 24th October 2022
India Arkin’s headline show at Bobiks on Friday night was one of the most memorable local gigs for me in a long time.
The line up was full of the North East’s best and it sure delivered. From the neo-soul sound of Frankie Jobling to a brief detour down the indie rock road topped off with the North East legend that is India Arkin. The whole night was full of warmth, wit and comfort. We review each set below.
A much more relaxed set compared to previous shows Frankie has performed. She arrived with a mic in hand and a simple guitar player to accompany her. However, her set and sound was anything but simple. It was a complex journey through emotion, passion, and meaningful lyricism. It was the perfect balance of power and relaxed soulful vibes. You could not get a better act to start the evening and ease the crowd into the venue and allow everyone to settle in.
After some light conversation and a drink post-set with Frankie and the headliner, we settled in for act number two.
After a disrupted start to the set from an individual barring Black Moss from beginning their set (they were removed), we were then treated to a soft set full of warmth and wit and a chant for the evening inspired by the disruptive person which made the set one of the night’s most memorable. Their online profile states, “abstract storytelling and intimate telling of memories” and their set surely lived up to that.
A diversion from the previous two acts, Vice Killer brought their soft but at times more heavy indie sound to the table. While still an enjoyable set, it underdelivered compared to the previous acts for me, which sadly led to me leaving to go to the bar downstairs for a small drink and a rest after being in the venue for a while at this stage. Vice Killer are good, but they were overshadowed by the other acts on the bill.
After following India since her busking days, this headliner show was like watching your best friend finally achieve their dreams. A well warmed up crowd were treated to the usual anthems like Dashboard Dancing and Sunday as well as new favourites like Party Favours. The highlight of the set was the crowd engagement with the song What You Call Home. Glowsticks in hand and hearing the crowd take part in the song’s chorus made for a fitting end to one of my personal favourite gigs for a while. India gives you homely yet party vibes all at the same time. The set flew by and just like that the best set of the night was over. You must see India Arkin, I believe she is not like any artist around now.
Bobiks has bags of vintage indie charm with ex-Soviet posters and the chandelier in a rundown ballroom. The staff in the venue are friendly and easy to communicate with just as much as the pub downstairs. The venue offers a well-priced and well-stocked bar too. If you do arrive with plenty of time before a gig, we recommend ordering food in the pub downstairs which is called The Punch Bowl. I highly recommend the Korean fried chicken and the Symonds cider to pair with it, which with a side of onion rings came to £22. Pricey but worth it in my view.
All images courtesy of @scottcharltonphotoandvideo on Instagram.
Have you ever been to Bobiks, or have you seen any of the acts reviewed? Tweet us @sparksunderland