Bring Me The Horizon – amo Review

‘amo’ is the latest album by Sheffield, their first since 2015’s ‘That’s The Spirit’. It’s a varied but focused project that’s miles away from their much heavier beginnings, but this shows a band who aren’t afraid to take risks. I think they paid off.

Lead single ‘MANTRA’ is still as punchy and vital as when it first dropped a few months ago, with it’s personal, timely lyrics about mental health and instantly infectious guitar hook, it’s the one of the best songs they’ve ever written, not a bad start.

‘nihilist blues’ features Grimes. The existence of this collab is enough to turn heads in itself, and the track will probably do the same to long-time fans. A heavy dance number with vocals from Grimes alongside Oli sounds wildly different to Mantra on first listen, but in the context of the whole album it just works.

Tracks like ‘in the dark’ and ‘ wonderful life’ are two more cuts that contrast eachother in terms of heaviness but the great songwriting and production really tie everything together here, with even the glitchy instrumental tracks like ‘ouch’ and the very poppy ‘medicine’ all slotting in perfectly. There are touching moments on the album too, with ‘mother tongue’ and ‘i don’t know what to say’ seeing Oli really opening up about subjects like grief and love.

They took some big risks and have taken a lot of slack for changing their sound, but ‘amo’ is a great album, no matter what genre it is.

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Ash live at Sheffield Leadmill Review

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Gallery:

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Tramlines 2018 Review

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2018 sees Tramlines, Sheffield’s inner-city music festival celebrate it’s 10th birthday. To celebrate the occasion, it moved to Hillsborough Park for what was advertised as ‘Sheffield’s Biggest Ever Party.’ I’d have to agree.

Friday

The one bad thing about Tramlines 2018 was that there were just too many acts I wanted to see! With the likes of The Orielles and Everything Everything playing at the same time I found myself dashing between the stages to catch a bit of everyone.

Kicking things off for me were The Big Moon.

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Playing a selection of top indie bangers from their Mercury nominated debut album alongside a brill cover of Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart, The Big Moon again proved themselves to be a perfect, energetic live band.

A quick run over to the Leadmill stage for Sheffield locals High Hazels next.DSCN2254.JPG

Pulling in a big crowd for that time of day, High Hazels delivered a very pleasant set of their slick, old-school indie.

Another quick dash from Leadmill to Main stage now for the bold Everything Everything.

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You can always rely on Everything Everything to be a brilliant live act, and during the only rainy spell of the weekend, the lads pulled it off, getting the crowd going with older hits such as ‘Regret’ alongside tracks from their last album ‘A Fever Dream’.

Next up were The Orielles.

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Another Yorkshire act, The Orielles played a very tight, energetic show full of tracks from their debut album ‘Silver Dollar Moment’ – if you ever get the chance to catch them live please do as Sid is an amazing drummer.

Friday’s headline act was Stereophonics.

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Kicking things off with their best track in recent years, ‘C’est La Vie’, the Welsh rock legends provided the perfect soundtrack for the Friday sunset, with massive hits like ‘Maybe Tomorrow ‘ and ‘Dakota’ really getting Sheff singing.

Saturday

The second day of Tramlines kicked off earlier, with both music and comedy beginning at around mid day. I saw some great, innovative comedy acts in the Leadmill tent to start my Saturday, including the amazing Foxdog Studios, who got everyone’s phones linked up for an interactive experience, and the hilarious Barbara Nice.

Music-wise, for me first up were Redfaces.

Lighting up the main stage with their fast-paced tunes like ‘Kerosene’ – the Sheffield lads proved they deserved that place on a big stage, and they owned it.

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After that, I nipped over to the Library Stage to catch Self Esteem, the solo project of Rebecca Taylor, formerly of Slow Club.

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Rebecca and her band put on a great show, with songs such as ‘Your Wife’ being a perfect Saturday afternoon soundtrack, with the weather slowly getting hotter and hotter.

Next up were Sheffield legends Reverend and the Makers, who had the rowdiest crowd of the weekend, and for good reason.

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From the get go, Jon and Co got the crowd bouncing, and I mean the entire park was shaking, with massive tunes like ‘Heavyweight Champion of the World’ and ‘Bassline’ really kicking things off, with people of all ages going for it.

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Saturday was a big indie night out, with Blossoms next up on the Main Stage.

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From their first track, ‘At Most A Kiss’, the Stockport favourites played a blinder of a set filled with crowdpleasers from their first two albums, and the irresistible ‘Charlamagne’ got the crowd nicely warmed up for Saturday’s headliner.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds were the closing act for the Tramlines 2018 Saturday.

DSCN3257.JPG While I was obviously excited for Noel, he really surpassed my expectations. He was noticeably really enjoying playing in Sheffield, and his enthusiasm quickly rubbed off on Hillsborough Park, with many a mass sing-a-long to be had. Playing a great mixture of solo and Oasis material, the elder Gallagher really shone on Saturday night.

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Sunday

Sunday for me was all about T’Other stage. Opening up the Tramlines Sunday for me were quick rising Sheff band The Seamonsters.

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Pulling a big crowd for the time of day, the Sheff six piece played a great, energetic set that proved to be the perfect start to the day.

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Next up was Nina Nesbitt.

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Playing a selection of her recent singles and older tracks as well as teasing some upcoming new tunes, Nina really impressed me with just how good she was live, witha  great vocal performance and stage prescence.

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After Nina were Gengahr.

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Beautifully playing tracks from their first two albums, including fan favourites like ‘She’s A Witch’ and recent hit ‘Carrion’, Gengahr played to a pretty much full T’Other Stage tent on the Sunday afternoon.

Following on from Gengahr were Little Comets.

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Little Comets really had Sheffield dancing with their upbeat indie rock, playing a great, tight set despite being down a member.

Next up, Pale Waves.

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Pale Waves are perhaps the buzziest band in the country at the moment, and they played a set that showed just why they have risen up so quickly, with the tent packed out to see the Manchester band play their indie pop to perfection.

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After Pale Waves, it was to the Main Stage for the last time of the weekend for De La Soul.

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One of the liveliest acts of the festival, De La Soul definitely won in terms of crowd participation, really getting the crowd involved in call-and-response games in between their legendary tracks like ‘Me Myself and I’. Another act who genuinely seemed to really enjoy playing to the Sheffield crowd.

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The final act of the weekend for me were Teleman, over on the Library Stage.

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Another of Britain’s Tightest Bands™, Teleman played a brilliant set of tracks from their first two albums, as well as tracks from their upcoming ‘Family of Aliens’ album, with ‘Song for a Seagull’ being a set highlight for me. Closing with the absolute banger that is Dusseldorf, they were the perfect end to a great weekend.


 

Tramlines 2018 was definitely Sheffield’s biggest ever party, and there was a really positive attitude throughout the park all weekend, with literally everybody having a good time. With organisation, food and entertainment that good it’s hard not to.

You could easily tell the amount of effort and love put into the event by Sarah Nulty and her team, and it paid off in a massive way. Roll on 2019.

Check out my full photo gallery from the weekend here!

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You can buy tickets for Tramlines 2019 already here. I would if I were you.

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

 

Outlines Festival add over 40 new acts to 2017 bill!

 

The second ever Outlines Festival have added more acts to its already impressive lineup, with the likes of Flamingods and Our Girl playing alongside already announced Jagwar Ma, Lady Leshurr, Slow Club and The Crookes.

The lineup also includes MOBO winner Nadia Rose, Hookworms and local talent including Trash and The Seamonsters.

The festival takes place in several venues across Sheffield including The Leadmill, Plug and Queens Social Club on 3rd and 4th March, with weekend tickets being available now for £20 here.

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:

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Phillouette

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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