South Tyneside band The Panic Report to support Toyah Willcox at O2 Academy Newcastle

A South Tyneside band are getting ready for their biggest gig yet, supporting 80s sensation Toyah Willcox.

Thursday, 13th June 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th June 2019, 4:45 pm
The Panic Report (Left-right): Ged Campbell (saxophone and harmonica), Martin Payton (drums), Richy Harbison (guitar and keyboard), Chris Brannan (bass and vocals), John Heston (vocals and guitar)

The Panic Report have been a regular on the North East music scene for 10 years, but are set to play to their biggest crowd yet, when they support the singer at the O2 Academy in Newcastle on Saturday, June 22.

The punk and ska five-piece is made up of John Heston (vocals and guitar) and Martin Payton (drums) from South Shields, and Ged Campbell (saxophone and harmonica), Chris Brannan (bass and vocals) and Richy Harbison (guitar and keyboard), from Hebburn.

Having previously supported Neville Staples of The Specials and 999, at The Cluny in Newcastle, this will be their first time playing at the O2.

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“We are all really looking forward to it, with a bit of nervous anticipation, but we’re really excited,” said 58-year-old Ged.

“It’s the biggest gig that we’ve done in terms of the venue, and the fact that Toyah is a massive name.”

He continued: “It’s going to be a big party atmosphere - all our family and friends are going to be there.”

Known for their own catchy songs, alongside covers from the likes of The Clash, The Jam and The Specials, the band will have chance to warm up when they play at The Chichester Arms in South Shields this Saturday.

Ged joined the band five years ago, after a period of ill-health and has never looked back, he said: “I think this band saved my life.

“About five years ago I was really down, it’s turned my life around and given me a focus.

“There is no better feeling, you’re like a rock star for a few hours on a Saturday night.”

He added: “They are a great bunch of lads, and we have great followers as a band. It’s about the camaraderie, as much as the music.”

The Panic Report will play at The Chichester Arms, South Shields at 9pm on Saturday, June 15, and support Toyah Willcox at the O2 Academy, Newcastle, on Saturday, June 22.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Toyah’s music career. She released her first single in 1979 and, over the years, has had 13 top 40 singles and recorded 24 albums.