Sheffield Acts to Watch Out For In 2015
2014 was yet another massive year for the Sheffield music scene. We saw new bands breaking through, older bands returning to the foray with fresh material and, sadly, we also witnessed some highly revered local acts depart our musical shores.
But, as sure as the River Don continues to flow through the city centre, there will always be a steady stream of talented musicians grafting away in backstreet practice rooms dotted around Sheffield inspired by a fine musical heritage and, erm, Phil Oakey’s fringe. Just check out our Exposed In Session channel
We could quite easily fill a big book – we’re talking Order of the Phoenix size, here – with all of the cracking acts plying their trade around the city at this moment in time. Unfortunately, we don’t quite have the same printing budget as JK Rowling, so we’ve had to settle on just ten bands who we reckon will be the talk of the town in 2015.
“Death to the dour!” is the war cry from Faerground Accidents and their loyal, ever-expanding group of supporters (Faeries). This month’s Exposed In Session stars have certainly shaken things up with their refreshingly unconventional look and psychotic pop sound which has smidges of Pulp, Suede and angsty Bowie wrapped up inside it. With the hype building, and radio airplay increasing, Faerground are becoming a hot tip for the top. Fingers crossed, eh?
As alluded to in the intro, we lost some mighty fine acts in 2014. When Dead Sons called it a day back in March, Sheffield’s music scene lost a load of catchy, ground-shaking riffs, and a fair bit of beard representation too. But it’s now time to dry your goddamn eyes, step away from that Gillette Mach razorblade and prepare for more dirty, seductive rock ‘n’ roll feels – as three of the sons reunite to create Howls. Brief snippets of what they’ve been up to in the studio have already whetted our appetite, and news of an album release next year has us positively gasping for some of that loud rock nectar. Feed us, Howls. FEED US.
The Monday Club
An indie-mod four piece with snappy dress sense and a well-polished sound. Heads first started turning after they released the infectious, Brit-pop ode ‘Itchy Feet’ back in April through Tiny Teeth Records. They followed it up with the equally accomplished ‘Time Ticks Away’ – performed as an exclusive for our September Exposed In Session. After seeing out 2014 with a successful UK mini-tour, including a support slot for Bruce Foxton’s From The Jam, they should be ready and raring to go for 2015.
Perfect Parachute Picture
Roughly ten seconds after I’d pressed play on ‘Charm is Glass’ I’d decided that I chuffin’ love this band – and really, really wanted them to bring out an album. No album as of yet, but ‘Morphine Dream’ is an EP which the band can be proud of, not to mention a must listen for anyone big on the Sheffield rock scene. A new music video for ‘Strange Folk’ was released in December – and hopefully shows that this double-piece have big plans for 2015.
It’s not a bad start when your debut single storms to fifth place in iTunes Alternative Chart and 92 in the UK Official Chart. That track was ‘Sing for the Moment’, which boasted an early Courteeners style sound to it, led brilliantly by winding guitar riffs and upbeat vocals. They’ve continued earning their spurs since with gigs all over the UK and sold-out hometown shows back in South Yorks. With experience of supporting the likes of The Enemy, The Buzzcocks, Reverend and The Makers and Simple Minds already under their belts, The Sherlocks will surely be looking to step up to the plate again next year.
A wonderfully talented group of young musicians, who have avery promising future ahead of them if they continue to produce the level of performance which saw them rock The Leadmill stage back in November. They only went and supported Toploader recently, an’all! We’d certainly recommend catching them live to see them at their best. You won’t regret it.
Stop Drop Robot
Sheffield’s electronica/hard rock hybrid rounded off their year by releasing a video for track ‘Clear Water’ taken from their latest EP ‘Tetralogy Aquaticus’. Not a sound for the faint-hearted, this band have continued to fly the flag for Sheffield’s affiliation with electronic music by fusing it with an intense heavy metal sound which is as innovative as it is engaging. They also deserve added kudos for helping to support fellow local bands – band member, Sam, hosts a YouTube panel show aimed at promoting the Sheffield music scene. Good lads, belting tunes.
Of course, High Hazels need no introduction to Sheffield music supporters; we’ve all been keeping an eye on these lads since 2012. Nonetheless, 2014 saw them make great strides with the release of their eponymous first album, which featured some of their strongest songs to date – including single ‘Misbehave’ and the wonderful ‘Banging on my Door’. Expect them to build on 2014’s success this year.
Combining indie and dance to form what they call “New Culture”, Ordnance have nailed a sound which is intricate, contemporary and, at times, downright beguiling. Could this be the sound of the future? We’ll have to wait and see – but check out ‘Seamstress’ and ‘Shotgun or Snake’ and I can guarantee you’ll be intrigued to find out more.
The Hokum (Wild Card)
Right. I’m unashamedly going to big up this band – despite you probably having no idea who they are – purely because I LOVE the sound they’ve made. Deep, drawling vocals with crashing guitars and daft, zany tunes. I implore you to listen to ‘Pigs’ and make up your own mind – it will grow on you. These probably won’t break through this year; but they at least deserve some more local love in my book.
A Few More Mentions To:
Bang Bang Romeo – Fleetwood Mac with a bit of bottle. Stylish 60s vibes that could slot perfectly into any Tarantino flick. Responsible for one of me fave Exposed In Session’s and continuing to do great things around the Sheffield scene and further afar.
Renegade Brass Band – A live experience you will never forget. Trumpets, horns, percussion, scratch DJ and MC all thrown into the mix to create a fusion of hip-hop, funk, jazz and electronica which will blow your balls.
October Drift – Little is currently known about these lads, but if they continue forging the deep, melodic soundscapes as seen in debut track ‘Whoever’ , one can see exciting times ahead.
Sour Cherry – A much loved Sheffield pop outfit who ended the year on a high with a storming support slot for The Struts at Plug. Plenty of their supporters will be hoping to see another big year for the group, and so are we!
Havana Rocks – Admittedly, Sheffield music has become synonymous with indie guitar bands over the last decade or so, but the city’s rock scene has been a integral part of the city’s heritage going right back to the days of The Wapentake and the likes of Def Leppard rocking local venues. The scene looks to be in safe hands with the likes of Havana Rocks, we recommend a listen to their most recent EP – The Next Chapter- a must for any rock lover.
Julia – I was originally put on to this band by photographer, Timm Cleasby. As it stands, they only have two songs – Weight of Love and Shot Down – up on their SoundCloud page, but both are very strong tracks and offer a more sophisticated take on the traditional Sheffield guitar band sound.