The 1975 live at the O2 Arena Review

The 1975 are currently on their sold out UK Arena tour, their biggest to date, and I got to catch their show on Saturday 19th of January. It was very good.

1957 1.png

After great support sets from Dirty Hit alumni No Rome and Pale Waves, The 1975 took to the stage to a ridiculously loud, and excited o2 Arena that was packed to the brim. As soon as that big screen lit up the crowd were relentlessly noisy through till the last song. Kicking things off with a double helping from their latest album ‘Give Yourself A Try’ and ‘TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME’ were received as if they were greatest hits.

1975 2.png

Each song had it’s own amazing set of visuals, with the stage morphing and transforming; at one point Matty entered the screen and it became a phone, and a treadmill was in use for a few of the songs alongside massive floating cube screens and some really great backing dancers who added an extra level of spectacle to the show.

The visuals were stunning at times, making the show seem even larger in spectacle than it already was. Opening act No Rome returned for the stage for his recent track that featured The 1975 and even that had got a full visual treatment, dancers and all.

The 1975 played a varied selection of tracks from their 3 albums and a few from their earlier EPs, even being brave enough to play the ambient ‘How To Draw/Petrichor’ from their latest.

1955333.png

This was a massive show, with amazing visuals and it’s inspiring to see a relatively new band shoot up to this level of production without losing their personality.

95%

Advertisements

Ash live at Sheffield Leadmill Review

Ash played at the Sheffield Leadmill on Tuesday 16th October, with support from Death by Unga Bunga.

DSCN8046.JPG
Death by Unga Bunga

Death by Unga Bunga were one of the most entertaining opening acts I had seen in a while, with non-stop energy throughout their set, while still performing great musically. Check them out if you can.

DSCN8128.JPG

Northern Irish rock trio Ash performed a lengthy set, but at no point did they show any signs of drifting off, with even their new album tracks pleasing the crowd.

The earliest highlight for me came in the form of a blistering rendition of ‘Kung-Fu’, and the whole set was filled with hits, reminding me just how many they’ve had over the years, with the likes of ‘Oh Yeah’, ‘Goldfinger’ and ‘Angel Interceptor’ all coming thick and fast in the first half of the set.

DSCN8227.JPG

This tour is in support of their latest album, ‘Islands’, and while they did play a fair number of new tracks (6), they slotted in perfectly with their greatest hits and fan favourites, especially ‘Confessions In The Pool’ and ‘Did Your Love Burn Out’.

 

Ash put on a memorable performance, and the quality of the whole set is a real testament to just how good they still are. They seemed to be enjoying themselves on stage too, which is the most important thing.

90%

You can check out all of Ash’s upcoming tour dates here: http://www.ash-official.com/shows/

Gallery:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Dutch Uncles live @ Plug, Sheffield Review

Laughing as soon as they come on stage because someone had put a Gregg’s pasty on the keyboard , Dutch Uncles already had the crowd on their side before they had played a single note.

DSCN7067.JPG
Steak Bake Dream 

Starting off with ‘Baskin’ from their latest album ‘Big Balloon’, their set was filled with a mixture of tracks from all five of their albums, many of them having a funny story about what they were written about – with everything from self pleasuring ghosts to marriage counselling being tackled.

DSCN7194

All of the songs they played were great, but I felt that the selections from their newest album stood out the most to me, with the likes of ‘Oh Yeah’ being high points. Title track, ‘Big Balloon’ is one of my favourite songs at the minute, and seeing it live was quite special.

One of the most impressive things about the set was that frontman Duncan Wallis managed to pull off his very lively dance moves on the cramped Plug 2 stage, but he made good use of the space he had.

DSCN7166.JPG

Finishing up with an encore including ‘Flexxin’ and ‘Dressage’,  Dutch Uncles proved themselves to be one of the most interesting indie bands out there.

85%

 

Outlines 2017 Review

Outlines Festival was back for a second time, and this time it was bigger & better than ever, with the festival running over two days with higher profile acts headlining, but still focusing on upcoming new talent. Outlines took place across several iconic Sheffield venues, including The Leadmill, Plug and The Harley on 3rd and 4th March.

Friday

Opening the festival in Plug’s room 2 were local Sheffield band The Seamonsters.

DSCN5927.JPG

Playing a short, tight set which included their recently announced debut single ‘Lost & Found’, The Seamonsters again proved themselves to be a great live act – a great opener to the weekend.

 

Over to the Leadmill next, with Dead Slow Hoot being the first act there I catch.

DSCN6039.JPG

I hadn’t heard anything by Dead Slow Hoot before Outlines, but their Interpol like dark indie rock was very nice indeed,  with the crowd increasing in size throughout their set.

Up next were The Crookes.

DSCN6170.JPG

Unsurprisingly drawing one of the liveliest crowds of the weekend, Sheffield favourites The Crookes crammed as much as they could into their 45 minute slot – as always it was full of energy, and the Croftsy fan club was out in full force.

DSCN6081

Closing the first night at the Leadmill were Slow Club.

DSCN6196.JPG

Another home-grown Sheffield act at Outlines, Slow Club started their set with ‘Ancient Rolling Sea’ from their latest album ‘One Day All Of This Won’t Matter Anymore’ with the highlight of their set for me was ‘In Waves’ from the same album.

Saturday

Starting at Plug again, the first act I saw on Saturday was singer-songwriter Sophie Longshaw, whose thoughtful acoustic tracks had the larger room in Plug captured. Nice cover of Rihanna’s ‘Don’t Stop The Music’ thrown in for good measure too.

DSCN6251.JPG

 

After Sophie, it was across to Plug Room 2 for Graceland, who were a complete turn around in pace from the last act, and another new discovery for me at Outlines. Great punchy tracks that the crowd quickly warmed to.

DSCN6308.JPG

The next act I saw was Clean Cut Kid.

DSCN6418.JPG

Clean Cut Kid drew a big crowd to the Plug considering they were on at 4 in the afternoon, and once they started playing it was clear to see why. With crowd pleasing indie rock tracks like ‘We Used To Be In Love’ and ‘Vitamin C’ filling their set, you could tell the band love doing what they do, and that is a great thing to watch.

Law Holt was next up, again showcasing the diversity of the Outlines lineup.

DSCN6433.JPG

I didn’t know what to expect from Law Holt at all, when she first appeared on stage with her two backing singers it was almost silent in the room, but she soon brought the crowd around with upbeat, quirky tracks like ‘Love Drive Through.

After Law Holt, Sheffield MC Matic Mouth took to the stage.

DSCN6557.JPG

Bringing a mixture of upbeat tracks about after-parties and more autobiographical cuts, Matic Mouth delivered a really fun set. After his performance, Nadia Rose was scheduled to play but had to pull out due to transport issues. Fair play to Mr.Mouth for stepping in and doing an extra short set to keep the crowd occupied in the gap.

DSCN6699.JPG

Lady Leshurr was next up, bringing the most energetic performance of the weekend. She really, really got the crowd going – getting the Plug to do the mannequin challenge for one, while still nailing her bars throughout.

After that, it was over to the Leadmill for the final 2 acts of the weekend.

DSCN6779.JPG

Shock Machine were the first of the two acts, and they really surprised me with just how good they were. I hadn’t heard any of their material beforehand, but knew it was James from Klaxons, so I had hopes they would be at least interesting. They surpassed that, and put on a great show, with a genuinely enthusiastic and engaging frontman in James.

The final act of the weekend for me was Jagwar Ma.

DSCN6930.JPG

I am a big fan of Jagwar Ma, and was really excited to see them live, especially in The Leadmill. Mid set, Jono Ma said he was very happy to have gotten such a warm reception, and that reception was well deserved. Songs mixing into one another meaning there was little time for chat from the band, but that was not really a negative in this case as the Australian trio were on top form, with tracks from their debut like ‘Come Save Me’ and ‘What Love’ merging brilliantly with newer cuts like ‘O B 1’ and ‘Ordinary.’

Outlines festival is a great way to discover new music and see some top well-established acts, in great independent venues.  I am already looking forward to the next one, and you can get tickets now for only £10 if you are quick.

90%

Best acts: Jagwar Ma, The Crookes, Lady Leshurr.

Estrons live at The Harley, Sheffield

This was the third time that I had seen Estrons live, the first one being at Outlines last year, and the second supporting Slaves, so I knew what to expect from the Welsh band’s live show, and because of this, I was very much looking forward to it.

Estrons were yet again full of energy from the start, Tali flinging herself around the Harley’s compact stage so much I found it hard to get many decent photos while blasting through recent tracks ‘I’m Not Your Girl’ and ‘Belfast’ early on in the set.

Hopefully the band will be gracing bigger stages pretty soon, the crowd in The Harley couldn’t help but move to the massive ‘Make a Man’, quick-factwhich explodes at the start and doesn’t let up; it’s destined for larger crowds, which they will hopefully get when the band return to Sheffield in the summer to play Tramlines festival.

e1

The band were incredibly tight throughout; drummer Toby Bang really impressed me and held the fast-paced set together. Ending with WYM’s #12 track of 2016, Drop, i’m relieved it isn’t too long until they will be back in Sheffield.

 

The Human League live @ Sheffield Arena review

The Human League played at Sheffield Arena’s Steel Hall Stage on 3rd December 2016 with support from Ekkoes and Blancmange.

Ekkoes were the opening act on the night:

 

bm1.JPG

Blancmange were the main support on the night, surprising me with how good they were, and the crowd’s response to them. Starting off with one of their biggest hits ‘The Day Before You Came’ it was clear that singer Neil Arthur still has the voice that made Blancmange popular the first time around. ‘Living on The Ceiling’ got the crowd moving as much as it did for The Human League.

DSCN5102.JPG
The Sheffield crowd light up their phones for Blancmange

This was a hometown show for The Human League, and you could tell, with the arena’s Steel Hall stage being completely sold out. Kicking off their set with ‘Being Boiled’ and ‘The Sound Of The Crowd,’the show went from hit to hit, making you realise how many big songs they have had in their career.

hl3

I was pleasantly surprised by Phil Oakey’s voice, still sounding the same as it did when they first broke into the charts, and the rest of the band were very tight, making for a very enjoyable show, for the whole arena.

The band had a simple but impressive stage setup; at first Phil emerged solo infront of big zig-zag screens on the stage and sang alone, but then the screens split in half, revealing the band.

dscn5107
Phillouette

Hl5.JPG

The Human League ended the show with a string of about 7 big hits in a row, including Love Action, (Keep Feeling) Fascination, Mirror Man, Don’t You Want Me and The Things That Dreams Are Made Of, leaving their hometown of Sheffield very happy indeed. At the end of the show Phil said “as long as you keep coming, we will always play here.” I’m pretty sure that they’ll keep coming.

4.5/5

The Human League Setlist was:

  1. Being Boiled
  2. The Sound Of The Crowd
  3. Sky
  4. Heart Like A Wheel
  5. Filling Up With Heaven
  6. Open Your Heart
  7. Soundtrack to a Generation
  8. Seconds
  9. The Lebanon
  10. One Man In My Heart
  11. Human
  12. Louise
  13. Stay With Me Tonight
  14. Love Action (I Believe In Love)
  15. Tell Me When
  16. (Keep Feeling) Fascination
  17. Mirror Man
  18. Don’t You Want Me

Encore:

19. The Things That Dreams Are Made Of                                                                                                20. Together In Electric Dreams

 

The Smyths (The Smiths Tribute) Review

The Smyths played at O2 Academy2 Sheffield on 3rd November 2016

The Smyths are a Smiths tribute act, and this was their ‘The Songs That Saved Your Life’ tour. I wasn’t sure what to expect from them in terms of how long the set/show was going to be, or if they would focus more on accurate looks or sound.

sm5

Playing a mixture of songs from the Smiths’ back catalogue as well as playing one solo Morrissey track (Suedehead), it was clear from the start when they kicked things off with ‘Shakespeare’s Sister’ that they were focusing more on sound, but Graham Sampson, the band’s Morrissey, got the look (and sound) spot on.

The band played two hour long sets with an interval inbetween, meaning it had a feeling of somewhere between a stage show and a gig, which is no bad thing. Also I feel that the ticket price was great value for how much of a show you got (£13.50).

sm3

The band played a mixture of big hits and less well known tracks, meaning that both die-hard and casual fans would be pleased with the show, with tracks like ‘Rubber Ring’ and ‘This Night Has Opened My Eyes.’ getting a play alongside big hitters like ‘How Soon Is Now?’ and ‘This Charming Man.’

The band itself were overall very good musically, with them replicating the sound as close as I think is reasonable to expect considering just how good Johnny Marr is.

4/5

You can find out about the Smyths’ future tour dates and more at http://www.thesmyths.net/