Review: Shangralas @ Café Totem

On Saturday night the punters of Café Totem saw the makings of yet another superb Yorkshire band, Shangralas. This four-piece rock band from the Barnsley area, who were handpicked by Spotify to be included on their Hot New Bands playlist recently, took the diverse crowd of all ages by storm during their hour-long set and did not disappoint.

As they started to tune their instruments, they teased the crowd and an instant connection was made between the Brad Cartwright’s bass and the fans who lapped it up chanting “Der der der der der, F**king Shangralas”. They launched into the set with one of their singles, ‘Where You Go, which is yet to be released, and heads were bopping, feet were tapping and all their close mates at the front couldn’t contain themselves bouncing around and knocking into each other while sending bottles of Budweiser and cans of Red Stripe flying.

Three songs in they played their first single released in January and written by the band’s singer Danny Way, ‘Going Nowhere’  – a fast-paced, simple track with so much potential. One of the most interesting parts of the song is the pre-chorus. While singer Danny Way belts out “And I see it in your eyes” you can feel Jordan Watkin’s (Jud) drums, Brad Cartwright’s bass and Max Asquith’s guitar all link together to create a sublime beat that is not only catchy but a pleasure to listen to.

During the set singer Danny Way seemed to enjoy mocking fellow band member and guitarist Max Asquith about the fact he was wearing a coat on the boiling stage. At one point he referred to it as a “Death Eaters coat” and even got the fans in on the joke getting them to chant “take it off!”.

As well as playing a lot of their own original tracks, they played a few covers too. The one which seemed to create the biggest reaction from the crowd ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’. Adoring friends and family sang with the band in a duet – every lyric chanted out, everyone arm connected by the classic which Shangralas thoroughly did justice.

One of the last original songs they played, also yet to be released, was ‘Leadmill Romance’. Another one that was very much enjoyed by the crowd and the band alike. Not only an instrumentally complex and versatile track, but a lyrically pleasing and relatable one too.

Shangralas closed their set with the latest single released on 31 May , ‘17’. A fantastic single written by the band’s guitarist Max Asquith, this one sent the crowd into a complete riot: jumping around, mounting each other’s shoulders, the air filled with beer and sweat as the rising stars gave it their all.

Once the show came to a finish, one of their fans described the band as “One of the best upcoming bands he’d ever seen with a massive backing from fans who’ll they’ll take with them all the way”. Another fan whose seen many years of the music industry said they could be “as big as The Stone Roses”, while another added “They will be headlining festivals in ten years”.

Speaking with the lads after, drummer Jud describe his style similar to Liam Watts from The Enemy. It was clearly portrayed through their music that the band have a very distinctive sound; they are influenced by Oasis and Nirvana, two very different bands, which shows why their style is so cool and diverse. They aspire to one day play their beloved Leadmill, as well as festivals as big as Glastonbury.

This is just the beginning for these boys; they still have many big things coming up this year such as supporting The K’s in Leeds, performing on the Crystal Stage at Tramlines, recording more amazing tunes in Magic Garden Studios in Wolverhampton and finally returning to Café Totem on 30 November.

Something tells me we are about to see the start of something special with this band and I wish them all the best!

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