Tag Archives: Review

Hawthorne Heights at Corporation – review

Hawthorne Heights at Corporation. Photo: Jade Knox

Hawthorne Heights at Corporation. Photo: Jade Knox

It would be a considerable understatement to describe how I felt as ‘excited’, writes Sheffield Live! volunteer Jade Knox, when I heard that this band would be returning to the steel city and performing their astonishing album The Silence in Black and White to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its release.

This experience for me, and presumably most people in the room that night, was wonderfully nostalgic having fallen in love with their music at only thirteen years old.

Hawthorne Heights are a band that spoke to me (and many others) lyrically at a time in most of our lives when we are emotionally astray trying to figure out who it is we are. Many young teens at the time and still today find solace in the rolling chords and bleeding hearts of musicians whose lyrics just seem to ‘make sense’ and speak to you directly.

Naturally, since I had first fallen for this album just under ten years ago my music tastes have grown alongside me, however as soon as these guys started their set it felt as if no time had passed at all.

Lead singer JT Woodruff was the cheeky and charismatic character I had always imagined him to be, commenting that the girls looked good and complimenting the crowd.

It’s always a pleasure to watch a gig in the small room at Corporation for the reason that it is a much more intimate setting. The band also removed the barrier you can often feel when in the presence of somebody you know is (or has once been) a pretty big deal, the gig was so relaxed and this was emphasised further by Woodruff’s invitation to fans to ‘hang out’ with him after the show as he would be just around the back.

It was evident during the gig that Hawthorne Heights have – and still do – mean a great deal to the fans. The room was alive: everyone there was singing their heart out and could join in to each song word perfect.

There is always an element of risk with gigs like this in that there could be an amount of disillusionment when time passes since a band first arrived on the scene or performed their initial material, especially if at one point or another you had held them in such high regard.

Now at twenty-two years old, Hawthorne Heights still pulled on my heartstrings in the same way they had done when I spent hours in my bedroom surrounded by CDs writing down my favourite lyrics. Although slightly more mature aesthetically the band have retained their sound beautifully and I am elated to have seen them live at last.

What next?

Lyceum lit by a ray of sunshine – “Morecambe” review

What a treat it was to see Bob Golding’s portrayal of one half of the duo Morecambe and Wise who became the Nation’s favourite funnymen in a partnership lasting some 43 years, write Sheffield Live!’s Paul Gregory and Kevin Resley.

A one man show forged in the West End and brought to Sheffield for an all too brief visit, well suited to the Lyceum stage, it showed the development of Eric Morecambe from a “lanky-shire” lad to comedy genius.

Brilliantly written by Tim Withnall, Directed by Paul Hendy and produced by Gary Morecambe, the one-man show incorporated Ernie Wise “Little Ern” by way of clever use of a puppet. So well integrated as the diminutive straight man it was easy to accept and contributed much to the performance.

Touching on his mother’s guidance and support, it charts the beginning and end of the partnership through war, setbacks and the vagaries of showbiz to the heights of a career where over 28 million watched their Christmas special.

Touching, funny, engaging and totally believable as Eric, Bob Golding had the audience singing the pair’s theme tune “Bring me Sunshine.”

Fantastic and you couldn’t see the join. Pure sunshine from start to finish!

What next?

  • Morecambe is also on this evening (Weds 9 April) – details and tickets
  • Paul also reviewed Morecambe during today’s Communities Live show (every weekday, noon to 1pm)

Fame at The Lyceum – Review

Andy Cooper and Julia Harrigan

Andy Cooper and Julia Harrigan

This week the kids from Fame have taken over Sheffield’s Lyceum Theatre.

So we sent along our own all-singing all-dancing double act from Thursday’s Communities Live show, Andy Cooper and Julia Harrigan to find out more and bring us this review:

Whether you know them from the original movie, the spin-off TV show or the recent motion picture re-make, there can be few people in the world who haven’t heard of ‘Fame’ and its colourful cast of characters. Set in New York’s High School for the Performing Arts (known simply as PA in this new production) the story follows these young hopefuls throughout their student years.

If you were expecting to be reunited with your favourite characters from the 80’s TV show then you’re set for a little disappointment as this stage production has moved on to tell the continuing story. It’s now 2014 and the latest class to enroll at PA are set to be the last before the school moves out of its historic home and into a new building.

However the spirit of the original Fame survives thanks to original creator David De Silva and the musical numbers, many of which are unique to the stage show, are just as toe-tapping as ever.

There are also nods to the script of the original film with certain storylines involving the new characters closely following those of their predecessors. Tyrone is a great dancer just as Leroy once was, but is also dogged by the same problems in his more academic studies, and the production contains plenty of other references to the original film while still being fresh and different.

There’s also much more comedy in this production than any other incarnation of Fame. Molly Stewart’s portrayal of Mabel Washington has some of the funniset stage moments. But watch out for subtle one-liners and back references to the movie and TV show from the rest of the cast. “If you want to go outside and dance on cars then you’ve come to the wrong place!”

Tempering the comedy is the knowledge that fame costs, and this aspect of a performer’s life is vividly portrayed by Jodie Steele as Carmen Diaz. Her dark exit is a real shock in an otherwise very upbeat production.

In short, any fan of Fame will most definitely not be disappointed in this cleverly thought out production. The final five minutes with a capacity audience at the Lyceum all up on their feet and belting out the theme tune is worth the ticket price alone!

Kes at The Crucible – review

KESA night at the Crucible Theatre with Paul Gregory and Kevin Resley

We set off to see the new production of Kes at the Crucible with talk of the film and recollections of the story, write Sheffield Live! presenters Paul and Kevin. A Kestrel for a Knave was written by local writer Barry Hines about a boy living in Barnsley in the mid- sixties.

Coming from this area of entrenched mining communities Barry was well placed to evoke the time and place, as seamed with grit and lost hopes as the land had been with coal.

Billy walks this lifeline with little to take him out of the hardness and hopelessness until he finds and adopts a young Kestrel. His hopes soar as the Kestrel flies and a bond is built between boy and bird.

Hines took this tale to the big screen in 1969 Doncaster, after a successful collaboration with the film maker Ken Loach. The resulting enthusiasm took the film to world wide acclaim.

That could have been quite a burden for a new presentation but Kes, at the Crucible, shirked none of the responsibility. A brave evocation of the story in dance took to the stage, with Jonathan Watkins’ direction and choreography gliding along with the hauntingly beautiful score courtesy of Alex Baranowski.

Billy, in the form of Chester Hayes, and his mother Laura Caldow were stepping out in style, while Laura Careless and Barnaby Meredith multi-charactered along with creating a plausible and captivating Kestrel.

Paul and Kev conclude: “A great ensemble performance that made the story of Kes its own. Go and see it, we are sure you will enjoy it.”

What next?

Gig review: Cold Summer, Corporation



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):

Review: Los Campesinos! Queens Social Club Sheffield, 07/12/2013

Jade Knox

Jade Knox

Gig review by Jade Knox

My first shot at reviewing bands for wonderful community station SheffieldLive!  93.2fm; I intend from this point forward to mooch around Sheffield whenever possible attending local gigs and searching for talent, keeping an eye on who’s hot and where they’re playing!

This was my first ever visit to the Queens Social Club in Sheffield despite being born and raised in the city. From the outside my immediate reaction was how similar it was aesthetically to the Brudenell Social Club which I have visited in Leeds.

As a Los Campesinos! fan already, I entered with a strong bias toward the band but as I decided to attend alone I thought this would give me a good means of deciding whether I really was having a good time or not. The venue is relatively small – but crammed with an excited and even adoring gathering of fans!

The best thing about the experience for me was the simple fact that the band looked as if they were having a good time. Rather than appearing as if they had guns to their heads whilst performing, the atmosphere became undoubtedly magical.

I would challenge anybody who were to tell me they left the gig unhappy. Even if the style of music wasn’t your taste, the passion of the people around you and more importantly of the band members themselves made the event a wonderful place to be. There was none of the awful pushing and shoving that seems to become habit of the more moronic gig-goers and everyone had a jolly good jump around whilst being courteous in the process.

But for any band a power cut is something that you could do without – and I wouldn’t have blamed any of them for getting a little narked.  Yet regardless of the power loss that ensued during Romance is Boring (at which point the entire room filled with the voices of dedicated fans) the band stayed cheery. Frontman Gareth cheerily explained the circumstances which, personally, left me rather tickled rather than irked that I would now have to hang around for an unknown amount of time until things got sorted. Gareth’s good humour was evident throughout the gig – especially as he remarked on how he had finally ditched the glockenspiel after years of embarrassment.

If you haven’t already heard Los Campesinos!’ new album ‘No Blues’ it is available to purchase and download from iTunes and also on Spotify.

My next gig review shall be of the wonderful Leeds based band Kamara, who are playing The Old Grindstone in Crookes this Friday! If a Cribs-esque indie vibe is what you’re into a strongly suggest you attend, the best part of course, it’s absolutely free!

About Jade: “I am a tiny, twenty-two year old with a big love for music and radio. Fuelled on caffeine and forever changing the colour of my hair I’m going to be on the hunt for local gigs and talent in and around the steel city!”

What next?