Last week we announced the launch of the first (hopefully of many) Barnsley Music Awards and I took a look at the Best Video category, selecting my own personal favourites. You can view those here. This week, I’m looking at the Best Live Act category. Just about every single original band in town has now been nominated, with over 50 names up to vote for.
Here I’ve tried to limit myself to yabbering on about just five favourite acts, which is actually quite hard considering the wealth of talent we have. Though I gone a listed briefly another five choices too. Here they are…
BEST LIVE ACT – REDMIST DESTRUCTION
Redmist Destruction are a proper old-school Thrash Metal band. They dish out songs about good old fashioned murder, war and pestilence; and in 2012 they were cited by the UK metal press as ones to watch with rave reviews for their debut album, Nobility in Death. Their second full-length is due to land sometime in the near future, but that hasn’t stopped them from relentlessly bashing in our eardrums in the meantime.
They are my favourite live act in Barnsley. In John Upson they have a front-man that has charisma and psychopathy in equal measure. In Gib a formidable drummer and in Carrier and Cowell a pair of guitarists that are lightening fast, jaw-dropping impressive and always inventive. Fact is, I always have the most fun when I go to see Redmist Destruction.
I was extremely proud to have put on their debut gig and album launch back in February. To a sold-out crowd they played heavy, intense, theatrical, yet straight faced, balls to the wall proper rock music. Inspired by Killing Joke, The Doors, Baroness, Isis and Ghost, Servers live shows are as big as you can get in small club venues. Lee Storrar’s voice is still one of the best around, and the band are equally as impressive.
Although just like Redmist Destruction, they have yet to release anything in 2014, they still play live often, fusing elements of pop, latin, prog, indie and 60s rock. Each of its six members are masters of the instruments, feeding into their music influences such as Phil Spector, The Smiths, Elbow, Jeff Buckley and Fleetwood Mac. In Sarah Evans they have such an awesome vocalist and in Del Scott Miller, probably the town’s most intelligent lyricist and articulate guitarist.
THE BLACK LAMPS
With only two live dates under their belts so far for 2014 and a further headline gig in two weeks, their show at Live in Barnsley to a capacity audience confirmed their status as one of Barnsley’s finest bands. Their gigs are rare and always eagerly anticipated. Featuring former members of some of Barnsley’s premier post-punk bands, Barnsley’s finest bands (King Palooka, Biff, Party Day, The Second Coming, Creatures of Habit and The Danse Society) The Black Lamps music is atmosphere, often euphoric and takes inspiration from the likes of Joy Division, The Cure, Mogwai and David Bowie.
Made up of former members of G.U. Medicine and Errander, Cavorts (along with Servers) are a Barnsley metal band that can go all the way and make it. They have already toured with Dragonforce, Alestorn and Defiled, taking them to one of my all-time favourite music venues, The Shepherds Bush Empire. Their debut gig was alongside Therapy and Skindred at Leeds O2 Arena. Cavorts are loud, brash, punk and in your face rock n roll. They remind me of Kvelertak, Mastodon and most recently elements of Gallows. They’re debut album is released at the end of the month and this video for their lead track give you an insight into one of their more intimate gig.
Mark Jackson’s Criminal Waste of Talent crack me up every time I see them. John Cooper Clarke, Half Man Half Biscuit and Ian Dury all rolled into one. I loved putting on The Exhibition EP launch in August and they blew me away, playing their best set yet. The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican and specifically their front-man Scott, are the hardest working act in town, with hundreds of gigs a year, numerous albums released, his open mic night and gigs at the beautiful Days, Bearded Theory and Underneath the Stars festivals. It would be their headline set at Live in Barnsley though, that would be remembered as a local highlight. Lauren Tate had nothing to prove when it came to her awesome vocal ability. However, 2014 confirmed her presence as a great songwriter and with a new band behind in tow, she played some blinding gigs at The Polish Club and at Live in Barnsley. I only saw Aztec Doll play once this year but they remain one of my favourite local bands. They were my overall favourite for 2013, and I reckon they’ll be up there again in 2015. However, do check out their EP Bowdlerize, which is as good as anything released by bigger signed bands. That’s my ten!
And now I’m thinking of those I’ve missed. I really enjoyed The Glavins set at LIB. I also saw a fantastic secret gig with Seventh Son this summer too. I haven’t managed to see The Hurriers play yet this year, which is why I’ve booked them in for a gig in December. They played the Orgeave Mass Picnic and their song Truth and Justice was its unofficial anthem. They also played Glastonbury this year, invited by Billy Bragg to play his Left Field Stage. You don’t get much better than that, hey? And I know that if I had seen Pusher play live yet, I’d have probably had to get rid of one of my top five to squeeze them in!
Who is your favourite live act in Barnsley? You can of course still vote, though that is limited to just one vote per IP address. Sounds fair I reckon.
To vote, go here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BMAAwards
The Barnsley Music Awards takes place Friday 5th December at the Walkabout in Barnsley. Follow the Live in Barnsley facebook page for updates about the event.