Archive for the 'Gigs' Category

Les Savy Fav in Sheffield: beard-core

March 18th, 2011 by Ian

One of my favorite bands hit Sheffield recently. The last time they were nearby it was in Manchester and I missed them for a date with a girl who only now, having finally seen Les Savy Fav, can I truly stop resenting. If you like rock and you miss LSF when they’re in your town, you’re a complete and utter quentin.

Appropriately awesome LSF poster by Laura Siragher

Appropriately awesome LSF poster by Laura Siragher

If you’re new to LSF I personally recommend that you start your adventure with their collection of 7″s, the appropriately named ‘Inches‘. I did. That got me hooked. Although that’s not to say their latest album ‘Root for Ruin‘ isn’t maintaining the quality I’ve come to expect. But I’m not going to focus on that. I think a great contrast to LSF would be another recent Sheffield Corporation gig; Melissa Auf Der Maur. Like LSF, more than competent musicians with a history of awesome albums. Another personal favorite. But when she played in town, it was a pretty damn disappointing delivery. Full marks for turning up, but that’s it. I know Sheffield isn’t the biggest town on the tour, but we like music too (if I was a music journalist I’d insert a quote from Reverend and the Makers here… but I’m better than that so no). I’ve paid my 15 quid. LSF, in contrast, got a nice A++ for effort. Why?

How to sell records in 2011

Since the gig, I’ve been imagining LSF are the sort of band who know how live music has to work in this time of mp3s, crappy laptop speakers and a fanbase who just won’t leave the house. A live show needs to bring it, and LSF brought it big time. Whilst I’d personally be perfectly happy to go to Corporation and see them perform a technically good set, LSF know this isn’t enough. They’ve heard of this thing called ‘showmanship’. It is their best weapon against pretentious tedious gigs, and their delivery system comes in the form of a big ball of bearded power: front-man Tim Harrington. Don’t get me wrong, LSF don’t need gimmicks and would be A-ok without Harringtons presence, but the energy that the bearded-one brings to the room is immense. If you’re standing near the back of the room and the lyrics are being delivered right into your face (literally)… that’s a show. That’s value for money. That’s the sort of effort that makes it worth getting out and supporting a band.

Les Savy Fav frontman connects with fans

Connecting with fans

Harrington made the grimy floors of Corp his bitch. He roamed the room doing questionable things with bananas (whilst singing the Banana boat song, naturally), slowly loosing layers of clothing. It was not sexy, but it was sexual. He climbed through the room, over bars and ledges. Fans held up the thick microphone chord that trailed behind him so he could connect with others. Musically. Physically. Emotionally. I’d seen such behavior from LSF on YouTube at big US outdoor shows. I thought, “Sure, they put the effort in when it’s a big show back home, but will they really bother in some northern city they’ve probably never heard of?” Well I was wrong. They did and they deserve credit for it. This was one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to.

Interpol don’t give a shit

Often when American bands come to town they blatantly don’t care. I’m looking at you, Interpol. It’s another box ticked and they slump on stage, looking cool but ultimately lifeless. Not LSF. They obviously believe in live music. This gig was part of a tour organized by the DrownedInSound people. I hope everyone felt that Sheffield was a worthwhile stop, because we enjoyed it. Probably almost as much as Tim Harringtons greengrocer.

Future of the Left play Sheffield

January 25th, 2010 by Ian

What’s the sign of a great band? Is it an ability to produce earworms? Many would say so, but I disagree. Otherwise Umbrella by Rihanna would make her, or whoever is operating the strings behind her, the finest artist of our times. I’m going to throw caution to the wind and say she/he/they/it are not. How about delivering songs with clever lyrics that even now, 3 days after I left the gig, won’t stop bouncing round my fucking brain? What if they were delivered over relentless, pounding riffs? Then package them in a compact 3-piece, dripping with a knowing indignation. Some vocals tinged with a mocking, yet not smug, sneer? That’d make a nice change from the usual angst that bands like this often bring. Future of the Left are not a bunch of whiny children. I wouldn’t say they’re angry, I’ve been threatened by Welsh people before and this isn’t like that. FotL are something else. Singer Andy Faulkous is ex-Mclusky, which is irrelevant (much as I liked them). FotL are their own band and are not being carried on the back of “oh, that guy was in Mclusky, we should check them out?”

Future of the Left @ Corporation, Sheffield

Future of the Left @ Corporation, Sheffield

In all honesty, I’m still reeling with disappointment from last years Interpol gig. Sure, I know they’re not the same deal as FotL, but the difference in showmanship was so dramatic. None of that disinterested, wandering, crossing of guitar cables whilst they prettend to look interested in their fret boards. No. The three members of FotL try so bloody hard, which combined with their competency in, seemingly, all areas of the craft results in one of the best shows I’ve seen. Their new album is very solid, consistent stuff and at this Sheffield Corporation show they played stuff from across their two albums. They hardly need to cherry-pick and I’m very glad that the well-thrashed synthesizer is with them.

I had seen a FotL show before at the Kasbah which, although a smaller venue (and thus better), didn’t leave the same impact on me. But now that they are 2 albums deep, they did. One benefit of Corporation was that it provided a number of hecklers whose only frame of reference to the Welsh people seemed to be late-night BBC3 repeats of Gavin & Stacey. Still, the band dealt with the hecklers in much the same way they seem to with anything else. Amusingly, harshly and definitively.

My first gig of the year and I’m very happy. I’ve spent all day at work trying to improve my javascripting with #“Mark Foley was right – there are no ghosts in this town, there is not reason to fear, there are no obstacles here” running through my head so screw you for that, Future of the Left, but please, please come back to Sheffield again.

Watch the music video to ‘The Hope That House Built‘ to get a vague frame of reference. It stars a donkey.

Interpol in Sheffield

July 17th, 2008 by Ian

This is about the band, not the international crime fighting organisation. Boom boom! I’m so lonely… ANYWAY, last week we went to see one of my favourite current bands for the 1st time. I love Interpol. I think ‘Slow Hands’ is one of the best rock tunes ever and I completely shrug off the common, “Joy Division did this already” comments. They’re on their 3rd (slightly disappointing, but still solid) album now and I don’t have much to say about the gig. It was technically spot on, but it felt a bit cold. Clinical almost. I’m not used seeing big bands I guess (last one of similar standing was Death Cab for Cutie). They were tight, almost too tight, and I felt myself becoming annoyed by the (again, very impressive) guitarists show-boating. Mark E Smith wouldn’t stand for this nonscence y’know. Anyway, I digress. The best thing about this gig wasn’t Interpol (good as they were) or the fact that it was my first visit to the new Sheffield Carling Academy. Oh, about that; they need to get some bloody fans. Just get the air to cycle. Bloody hell guys, c’mon *mops brow*. A decent venue, but you just know that in 6 months it’ll be the dirtiest scruffiest dump in town.

Ladytron in SheffieldWhat I really enjoyed last Wednesday was Ladytron. I’ve been fond of their chirpy electro-pop from the days of ‘Playgirl‘ and their move to a darker sound on 2005s ‘Witching Hour‘ was almost jarring, but oh so acceptable. This years new album ‘Velocifero‘ is much in the same vein and tracks like my personal highlight,’Seasons Of Illusions‘, which sound so snarling, disgusted and aloof are very much welcome. In the end, Ladytron, who seem to try as hard as possible to come across as cold and clinical with their black dress, chant-like lyric delivery and complete inability to look even mildly amused actually felt a lot warmer than the more ‘bouncy’ main act.

Jeffrey ‘Lightning’ Lewis live

September 22nd, 2004 by Ian

Mark E Smith

Went to perhaps one of the finest gigs in quite a while last night. The Hull  Adelphi played host to the ‘anti-folk‘ New Yorker; Jeffrey Lewis and some of the ‘Artists Against Success‘. Jeffrey Lewis was brilliant. He combined some brilliant rock with humour and education (I kid you not).

He’s really quite a talented comicbook writer/drawer/whatever and he used this in his on-stage ‘music videos’. He flicks through his large drawings and tells a tale about them as he goes along. The highlight for me was the story of Mark E. Smith and The (Mighty) Fall. He gave us all a brief history of punk rock and despite managing to sound a little bitter about the whole Clash/Sex Pistols thing, it was very funny and most educational.

The first band to play were the ever-so-slightly-terrifying Cracktown. They bordered on the hillarious and muchos respect is deserved for incorporating darlek-like vocals into the act. The other bands that performed were completely new to me. The first band was The Frankie Machine was really music to kill yourself to, but they were pretty good and managed to make an inappropriate joke about children. Don’t ask. But I did laugh. The Hector Collectors comprised of one Glaswegian chap. Despite most of the songs seeming to be about looking round high-street shops and watching naff daytime telly, he was pretty funny. Especially as he seemed to spend the gig staring at my friend sitting infront of him. If you want Robs number Mr. Hector Collector, I’d be happy to  provide it 😉 I got the feeling that each of MJ Hibbetts songs were a desperate cry for help but when he played “Hey Hey 16k” (the games you get today/ they might be very flash / but they’ll never beat the thrill / of getting through jetpac), an ode to tape-load gaming, it dawned on me that I’d heard this chap before at b3ta. A cult-geek classic then. Always nice to hear.


Jeffrey Lewis

The Frankie Machine

The Hector Collectors

MJ Hibbett article on Cracktown

The Hull Adelphi