Live Music

Spot the local stars in Sheffield Community Media film

A new short film shows how excited Sheffielders are about the plans to allow people who live, work, or have interests in Sheffield to own their very own television channel.

Figures from notable Sheffield businesses, and from the worlds of music (including one of Sheffield’s home grown music stars – watch the film to find out who), media and education, have joined Sheffielders in welcoming the channel:

As excitement grows (you can read more comments here), so does investment into Sheffield Community Media Ltd, an organisation set up for community benefit which has been established to support community media development in Sheffield, including the new local digital TV channel.

Readers can become a part owner and can invest from £100 to £20,000, payable by instalments if preferred. Sheffield Community Media aims to pay a modest rate of interest after 3 years. Details here.

Community Shares are a form of social investment to raise funds for projects of community benefit. Sheffield Community Media Ltd want Sheffielders to support this groundbreaking project. The “Pioneer and Community Share Offer” is available at www.sheffieldlive.org/shares

Sheffield Community Media Ltd is a society for the benefit of the community incorporated under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965. Registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. Registration No: 31727R. Registered address: 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX

We’d like to thank Matthew Neale of The Sheffield College and Norton Creative for editing and directing this film, and College students for capturing footage; Daren Eagles and Sheffield Hallam University students for the introductory ident; Rob Speranza and Sangita Basudev for supplying additional footage; and the featured Sheffield Live show producers, as well as all of the interviewees, for taking part.

Review: Gareth Malone’s voices tour

Gemma Crump

Gemma Crump

By Gemma Crump

Gareth Malone’s voices tour, which came to Sheffield City Hall on 28th May, was equal parts fun and emotional. The haunting beauty of unaccompanied voices harmonising together was hypnotising.

Malone took to the stage with his 16 talented young singers to give the audience an unforgettable evening. Each member was given a chance to shine and shine they did, displaying technical skill in the way they harmonised on a wide selection of songs.

Malone’s charisma and charm put the audience at ease and even encouraged us to have a go singing in songs such as ‘Fields of Gold’. He made the audience feel as if we were one big choir – even the shyest members of the audience got involved with giant smiles on their faces.

Malone showed us his talent to get anyone to sing by plucking a young doctor out of the audience to sing ‘Stand by Me’ on the stage. His natural charm put her at ease, she sung exquisitely and got a wonderful reception from the audience.

The songs were varied but each beautiful in its own way. Naomi Bank’s solo of ‘Try sleeping with a broken heart’ had a gorgeously Smokey undertone to it and was a great way to open the show. One of my favourites however was the rendition of Fleet Foxes’ ‘White Winter Hymnal’ with its catchy tune and beautiful harmonies. I have not stopped listening to it or singing it since leaving the concert. Other songs included ‘Wherever You Are’ written for the Military Wives choir, leaving the audience with a tear in their eyes and Gary Barlow’s ‘Sing’ that had such a magic to it.

Apart from assistant musical director Michael Higgins wonderfully playing the keyboard and a backing of beat boxing on a ‘looping’ machine, the rest of the songs were unaccompanied. It was magical to see how beautiful a sound you can make putting different voices together. Each and every member of Malone’s voices were spectacular and incredibly talented. It has left me with a renewed love of choral music and has rekindled my passion for music. An emotional and enjoyable evening that I shall never forget.

 

Lifesigns review

Lifesigns Webpage Review PicLifesigns performed at The Greystones on Monday 27th May. Graham Marshall, co-presenter of Sheffield Live!’s Spirit of the Wapentake programme was there – here’s Graham’s review.

Lifesigns released their debut album to great acclaim in January 2013 and have since been No.1 in Amazon classic rock and prog charts in the U.K., U.S.A., Canada, Germany, France, Italy and Japan. Their album sales show little sign of abating and as such the demand for Lifesigns to tour has continued to grow. They were nominated this year by PROG Magazine for their best newcomer award.

Lifesigns are: John Young on keys & vocals (ex Asia, Scorpions, Greenslade, Strawbs), Frosty Beedle on drums (ex Cutting Crew), Jon Poole on bass (ex Cardiacs & Wildhearts) and Niko Tsonev on guitar (ex Steven Wilson).

Graham and Bona from Spirit of the Wapentake review this relatively new Prog rock band that on paper sound as though they ‘cut the mustard’.. but its what they sound like live that really matters.

Here’s what they thought after the gig:

What next?

Halestorm review

Halestorm at O2 Academy Sheffield in April. Photo: Ollie Murton

Halestorm at O2 Academy Sheffield in April. Photo: Ollie Murton

The venue was packed, the atmosphere amazing, and as soon as lead singer Lzzy Hale opened her mouth to sing, I knew exactly why it was a sold out show, what a voice! (writes Natz Beard, presenter and producer of Sheffield Live!’s Local Talent Show).

Being only the second show of the tour, the band were full of energy and enthusiasm and by the time they were a few songs into the show this had the crowd buzzing too.

Perhaps the most memorable part of the show was Arejay’s drum solo, after wooing the crowd with a very impressive solo, he then went on to do another, playing with just his hands and another with giant drum sticks. Although impressive, this did seem to drag on just a little too long, he probably could have achieved the same ‘mouth wide open’ wow effect  if he were to shorten it down to one continuous solo instead of three, but then again if you have the ability why not stop the show and show it off?

A huge highlight for me was the band’s cover of  Daft Punk’s song Get Lucky, I am already a huge fan of the twist they have put on this track just from hearing it on Soundcloud previously. Fans of this cover will be happy to know that it is featured on their ReAniMate 2.0 EP, which is now available to buy.

Gig review: Cold Summer, Corporation

Jade

Jade

Cold Summer – Corporation Nightclub 18/03/2014

It was an impromptu decision to go and watch my second favourite group from Wakefield (after The Cribs of course) play Sheffield’s wonderful Corporation nightclub, writes music-loving Sheffield Live listener, volunteer and gig correspondent Jade Knox.

The first thing that was in stark contrast to a lot of groups I’ve been watching lately was the showmanship of Dan Feast (lead vocals) who actually jumped off stage to interact directly with his audience and (at the risk of sounding unprofessional) ‘went mental’ dancing and pouring his soul into his performance. When an band or artist truly believes in the sound they are producing it provides a superior experience for everyone involved, just the occasional glance from drummer to bassist and smile from guitarist to singer can make a gig just that little bit more pleasurable to attend.

My one and only grumble about this show was the ever-so-slightly preachy feel that came over me when the lead vocalist gave a small speech on the topic of the music of today, expressing that he felt that none of it was really any good, which is something I completely disagree with.

There are plenty of hardworking non-manufactured DIY bands – not only in Sheffield but all over – that work incredibly hard and sound fantastic, however on the same note I also understand that you do often have to separate the wheat from the chaff.

I did agree with the message that artists and bands should be assessed and judged on a measurement of their talent and sound rather than how they look or decide to dress, but this is a bit of a utopian idea of the music industry – a business where how you look is makes a huge difference.

The band played in Corporation’s smaller room; excellent for a gig like this one which allowed Dan to get right up close and personal. It was an immensely engaging performance and musically the band were above and beyond what I was expecting. The genre they work with is post-hardcore/rock, a genre which I’ve not a lot of experience with, however, it doesn’t take an expert to see just how technically talented this group is.

The set felt a little short and it would have been nice to have heard one or more tracks as after twenty minutes I was quite immersed in the music.

Twitter: @ColdSummerUK

Steel Panther review: amazing sound; explicit banter

Steel Panther are a spandex-clad American spoof glam metal band made up of excellent musicians who dress like, and perform like a combination of Van Halen, Bon Jovi, and Twisted Sister, writes Sheffield Live volunteer Graham Marshall.

This is combined with inter-song banter which was a cross between Beavis and Butthead, Jedwood and Chubby Brown.

The band have gone from strength to strength since supporting Def Leppard a couple of years ago on their European tour.

Graham and Natalie from our Local Talent Show went along to review their sold out show on 20th March 2014 at O2 Academy, Sheffield.

Here’s what Graham and Natalie had to say about the experience (click the play button to listen):

Our Big Gig – funding available to organise music events

Our Big Gig, a community music celebration which will take place across the UK from the 11 – 13 July 2014, has grants and support available for event organisers who wish to programme community events.

Funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government, Our Big Gig will “see the country once again come together to celebrate local music at community events, showcase new and existing talent and give people the opportunity to have a go at making music.”

For 2014, all types of community organisations are being urged to apply to put on an event in their local area and bring together diverse groups of people through music. All successful applicants receive grant funding and event management training is provided.

Organised by music and arts organisation Superact, this annual event – which was formerly known as the Bandstand Marathon – “brings communities together to improve community cohesion and inspire more people to take part in music making opportunities in their local area.”

Superact is looking for 150 event organisers to run events across England. All successful applicants are given a £400 grant, support from Superact’s Project Managers and event management training.

Application details and criteria:

  • Applicants can apply to put on a new community event or an established event scheduled for a date between the 11th and 13th July
  • Superact can only provide funding to community organisations with a bank account
  • All events need to: be at least four hours long; be free to attend; present opportunities for people to participate in a range of musical activities.The deadline for applications is 12 noon on 4th April 2014
  • Read more at: http://www.superact.org.uk/ourbiggig/our-big-gig-2014

Gig review (and interview): Back to Verona

Review: Back to Verona, West Street Live, 25/02/14 by Jade Knox

Back to Verona at West Street Live. Photo © Jade Knox

After meeting these lads while I sat in on the Local Talent Show on 28/02/14 (podcast of this show – featuring an interview with three of the band – is here), I wanted to see the band in action and showed my support at West Street Live last Tuesday, writes music-loving Sheffield Live listener, volunteer and gig correspondent Jade Knox.

I’d been intrigued by them initially by the range of different genres they appeared to move through, and in the Sheffield Live! studio I heard three tracks that all felt entirely different.  The vocals of one of the tracks played in the studio reminded me of one of my old favourite bands Avenged Sevenfold – a pretty big compliment.

Arriving the at the gig I managed to catch a couple of bands before Back To Verona played their headlining set. It became apparent very suddenly why the group took the top slot. Musically and vocally the band outshone any previous acts I saw that evening a thousand times over, it was a completely different ball game.  The entire group performed confidently and looked as if they were having an amazing time whilst doing so – which in turn made me have a wonderful time too! Stage presence and audience interaction is something I will always mention as I find it can truly make or break a gig but Back To Verona were very likeable and fun to watch.

Back to Verona. Photo © Jade Knox

Back to Verona – click to view at full size. Photos © Jade Knox

Although it is clear the band are still deciding on their sound, elements of every genre they have experimented with have been spot on. It was mentioned in the interview on the Local Talent Show that there had been a change in relation to band members and I must say if the group dynamics weren’t beautiful before – they certainly are now.  I look forward to seeing where these guys go because I’m certain it will be far.

Luckily West Street Live had no issues with me bringing my DSLR and I was able to take a few shots of the band at the gig.

What next?

Gig review: The Twang, Leadmill, 28/02/14

Unfortunately due to work commitments I was unable to see the support acts, writes music-loving Sheffield Live listener, volunteer and gig correspondent Jade Knox, but I arrived promptly for 9:15 to see Birmingham six-piece The Twang.

I was a little concerned when I walked towards the venue to see five police vans, two horses and a handful of police cars but nothing terrible seemed to be occurring.

The atmosphere from the moment I walked in was like nothing I’d witnessed at a gig before, it had the air of a football match more than a music performance with a lot of testosterone and chanting. There were more windbreakers and track jackets than an Oasis fan club and I can imagine the venue took a good amount of money on just Red Stripe alone.

I was glad to see a great variance in the age of fans; this certainly just wasn’t a gig for just the young ‘uns. Despite being stood almost at the back the whole room was filled to the brim so I still got a taste for being amongst the crowds.

The band kicked off and so did the fans, with general rowdy excitement which I’m certain was harmless. This kind of hooligan, Britpop subculture is one that I’d never seen besides on television but it is very present and definitely didn’t die in the 90’s.

It was a little scary that vocalist and guitarist Phil Etheridge made an announcement during the gig to “keep the peace” which suggested to me there had been a couple of incidents at previous venues during the tour. From what I could tell the rowdiness was just alcohol induced enthusiasm and passion, boys lifted girls on to their shoulders and everybody got together to celebrate the music.

Martin Saunders looked like he was having the most amazing time of his life and was easily comparable to a modern day Bez, The Twang actually had a very Happy Mondays vibe in several ways.

Musically the group did not disappoint playing the most popular tracks mixed in with some new material; everybody seemed to adore the set. It was a great performance and I eagerly await the release of their new album N E O N T W A NG on the 10th of March.

Review: Little Comets / Catfish and the Bottlemen

Jade Knox

Jade Knox

Despite treacherous conditions fans flooded from all directions and lined up patiently outside of one of Sheffields’ long established and loved venues, The Leadmill, writes music-loving Sheffield Live listener, volunteer and gig correspondent Jade Knox.

The bands we’d come to watch (on 12th February) were Catfish and the Bottlemen and Little Comets.  I was taken aback but totally chuffed by the fully loaded Leadmill – the venue can certainly pull in a crowd!

The first band to play were a band I’d not previously heard of called Catfish and the Bottlemen who had a massive fan base; I’d go as far as to argue that they had a bigger audience than the headliners. I was slightly shocked by the band’s sound, it was heavier than I was expecting but it was a welcome surprise. Despite clearly being very much loved by their fans, personally, I just wasn’t blown away, not through any lack of talent or enthusiasm I guess it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I think without the silence and announcements I wouldn’t have been able to differentiate between tracks and I wasn’t much fond of all the swearing between songs either. The group did have fantastic stage presence however and everybody got involved, the lead singer was charismatic and humorous which are both brilliant qualities for a frontman. Although it wasn’t something I think I could get into it was clear that a lot of people were very into Catfish and the Bottlemen and I’m certain they will go far.

This would be my second time seeing Little Comets play, my first at the BBC Introducing stage at Leeds Festival 2012 where I quickly fell in love with them.  The group were welcomed by a huge cheer when they arrived on stage and they by no means disappointed. Little Comets are one of those bands that are flawless when they play live, I’ve attended gigs in the past where I’ve barely recognised my favourite songs being performed because it’s sounded so different from the heavily tweaked studio recording. They made beautiful smooth transitions from slow gentle melodies into much more energetic lively songs such as “One Night in October” and “Joanna”. This group have a considerable amount going for them and it does not go against them that they are all absolutely adorable. Keep doing the north proud!