While some of you were over at Sheffield’s Tramlines, many of Barnsley’s music lovers caught a number of some amazing bands from up and down the country travel to bring you everything from Urban/Electro Metal to Melodic Post-Hardcore; the level of talent oozed from the windows of Lucorum, The Cedar Room and Voudou.
FRIDAY: LATE NIGHT FICTION, BETTER FOR NOTHING + MAJORITY VOTE @ LUCORUM
Majority Vote seemed excitable and eager to get on stage. They are a fresh band, local to Barnsley, with the enthusiasm and potential to go far. Friday saw a fast-paced, “bouncy” performance with a dedicated group of fans singing along. Maybe a couple more years in the oven for these young rockers and I will be more eager to see what they have to offer.
Being promised an acoustic set from a band that describes themselves as “Alt-shout-Rock” didn’t really float my boat. Intrigued, maybe but when Better For Nothing climbed on stage ready for their first song and tell the crowd, “This is our first ever acoustic set and we haven’t really practiced this, so we’re just gonna wing it,” it sounds like trouble. Expecting something along the lines of Taking Back Sunday or Funeral for a Friend, instead we were met with something much funkier; mixing their usual kick-ass vocals with a single acoustic guitar, it proved to be a rhythmic and original sounding combination.
Nathan Dennis seemed to unleash more intense vocals with every applause; feeding from the of the atmosphere crowd and vice-versa. A handful of guitar effects were just the right touch on this one-off acoustic performance; which I was told afterwards, may become a regular thing. I sincerely hope so, they absolutely nailed it!
Late Night Fiction are here to launch their Polar EP as part of their UK tour. Their recordings are so tight and polished, that I didn’t think they could pull it off live. Their sound is completely original, with continuous highs and lows, pace changes and Ying/Yang vocals. They came onto the stage, plugged straight in and broke straight into their set. I was in awe. Phill Morris seemed reserved and controlled, until I saw his feet. Bouncing on his toes throughout the whole performance and joining in with James Thompson’s frantic guitar flinging. His voice stretched from one extreme to the other and leading the band, he pulled each track to a tight and precise finish. Each song they played grew technically; definitely recommended for fans of Biffy and Sikth, or anyone! People need to hear these guys to believe it.
SATURDAY: REVERBED, 7 DAY WEEKEND, SO LONG SUMMER + STATE OF THE NATION @ THE CEDAR ROOM
Day two had a different feel altogether; with a mix of Punk Rock and Pop Rock bands from ‘Tarn and as far afield as the equally exotic Warrington.
Opening the night was State of a Nation; an all-too-familiar-sounding Pop Punk sound. In their early days and needing a lot more experience but here, they pulled out a Green Day cover and I couldn’t help but express my sheer surprise…
So Long, Summer were next up, playing their first ever live show and losing their “gig virginity” in The Cedar Room. A commercial, teen-bopper friendly band with big smiles, PG13 lyrics, power chords and a sing-a-long chorus. What more can you ask for?
7 Day Weekend were on next; another young fresh faced, pop-rock band. Their set consisted of songs you could imagine being covered over and over again by young girls with their oversized acoustic guitars, sat in their bedrooms, wishing that cute faced Dan Hancox will be their first boyfriend… awwww!
After a soft drink break (I’m not underage, I just didn’t like the idea of having an alcoholic beverage around these young one), ReVerbed were setting up. A rock band from Doncaster, influenced by the likes of Taking Back Sunday and Foo Fighters, this band is the reason I stuck around. An absolute gem! Energetic, diverse and a kick in the face of any other female fronted rock band around. Zoe Waugh has a sweet face and you could quite easily put her in your pocket, but do not take her lightly. She has some kick-ass vocals and beats the crap out of her guitar with a punk-rock style and some serious attitude. I can’t wait to see what else she’s got under her belt.
The highlight of their set was easily 49; a gutsy, fast-paced, catchy as hell tune, making you feel you’ve heard it before. Built around a breakdown bridge that takes you by surprise; if this is the direction they are going in with their song writing, I can’t wait to hear the next instalment! ReVerbed have a few songs online, go check them out. Unfortunately though, the vocals live are so much better, I wish their recordings showed the raw ability of George’s voice.
SUNDAY: DOWN THE MACHINE, GIVE CHASE + BLACK ECHO @ VouDou
A late afternoon, post-Sunday Dinner sesh at VouDou on not the busiest of days – I suppose BBQ’s in the garden were the focus of the crowds. It was hot, hot, hot!
The first band up was Black Echo, another local crowd puller. Referring to themselves as post/hardcore rock, I honestly didn’t know where to place them. Terry Wright seemed to have the ability to throw his vocals out there, but he held back. I don’t know why because when they do commit to a big sound; great, big and ballsy. Maybe not quite the sound for a Sunday afternoon but it definitely pulled me out of my mashed potatoes and gravy slumber.
The music calmed down some when Down the Machine came on stage; a mellow, old school rock band from Leeds, taking their inspiration from the likes of Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden. Steve Wilson’s voice is as controlled as Eddie Vedder’s but with a hint of Yorkshire man. Brilliant!
Danny Milikin’s strings broke during their opening number but after that lump in the road and a fresh set, Down the Machine continued with a tight and relaxed set.
The stage is crammed with wires, speakers, synths and laptops. Everything crackling and sounding a little scary from an electrical point of view as Give Chase come to the stage. A fresh and original four piece, on tour and having drove all the way from Scotland in an old Royal Mail van. Even though looking as if they were going to melt on that stage, they jumped straight in and shocked the hell out of me and the unsuspecting bar staff!
Everyone was waiting for another rock band, maybe a cover or two… but they were met with a dub-step electro/metal cocktail, with fat basslines, distortion and a front man who was taking no prisoners.
Their first track blew everything out of the water and left me speechless. Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties and one plug feeding enough power to shock an elephant back to consciousness, their set had to be cut short but the crowd wasn’t disappointed. Simon Redford-Sears proved himself to be quite the front man. Dealing incredibly with the hiccups, and showcasing his diverse technical ability.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF AND REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF GREEN CHICKEN
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