It’s always nice to get an award, isn’t it? It’s particularly nice for the Leadmill, which has been awarded at the Live Music Business Awards for the second year running, winning its Best Venue Teamwork category. In fact, Sheffield did rather well at this year’s bash, as the City Hall won the Best Venue Teamwork category for theatres and concert halls. (Okay, so they don’t put on the sort of bands we cover here that often, but it’s always a safe bet if you’re wanting to arrange a night out for your mum and dad.) And let’s not forget The Harley’s Kate Hewett, who was an Indie Promoter Of The Year runner-up and is without question behind a sizeable chunk of the city’s best shows.
She’s also a driving force behind Tramlines, which is once again in the running for a UK Festival Award, after winning the Best Metropolitan Festival category last year. Make sure you vote here and let’s make it two years in a row, yeah? Then feel free to check out this awesome video of our favourite Sheffield experimentalists Blood Sport:
Okay, album news. The Purgatory Players are releasing one and it’s called Deserts. The band, fronted by Robert George Saull, are an eclectic bunch and what we’ve heard of the record is a tasty mix of fantastical folk, eerie atmospherics and melodies from beyond this hemisphere. There’ll be a launch event at S1 Artspace on November 10th with support from Blood Sport and Death Rays Of Ardilla. The latter released their own single, ‘Diamonds’, earlier this month, and it’s a terrifically twisted three minutes of otherworldly weirdness.
Oxo Foxo has been playing incredible one-woman shows around Sheffield for a while now (I missed her Tramlines set at the Cathedral, but I’ve lost count of how many people have told me how brilliant it was). Her most recent gig should have seen the launch of her new EP, ‘Disguise’, but the event was cancelled when she fell ill. Regardless, the EP is stunning, and shows off Oxo Foxo’s talent for moulding dreamy, dramatic loops with effortless melodies, so keep an eye out for a new release date.
Hoping to avoid the launch party lurgie will be Puzzles, who are releasing a short film to accompany their track, ‘Escape Music’, on October 31st. The track itself is an ambitious exploration of ambient prog, gradual tension and understated drama. The film, meanwhile, will be premièred at the West End on the 30th and the band will be doing an acoustic set on the night. You can see a preview of the film below.
Equally as excitingly, unequivocally brilliant post-punk four piece Seize The Chair have got a new single coming out. It’ll be their first since August 2011 and they’ll be launching it at The Harley on December 8th. Their similarly talented chums Mad Colours have been busy too, working on the R.I.P. EP, due out in the not-too-distant future. Whet your appetite below.
If all of this anticipation for future releases is getting too much, there’s also plenty of awesome new stuff already out there for you to enjoy in the meantime. Last month saw the release of a new EP from excellent emo-math-rock outfit Likes Lions (you can listen to First The Head, Later The Tail on Bandcamp) and a phenomenal new single, ‘Summer, Somewhere’, from uber-upbeat chamber-pop troupe Screaming Maldini (again, hit Bandcamp). Then, this month we had a new double A-side single from Cats:for:peru, which finds them in as absorbingly off-kilter form as ever. Listen to ‘Three Colours’ and ‘A Million Brothers’ below.
Hold up, there’s a new promoter in town. They’re called Semi Detached and in September they got Sheffield shoegazers Blessa to do a gig on a boat. In the future they’ll be bringing us some of the most exciting new bands in Britain, in the form of Stealing Sheep, Chad Valley and Peace.
There’s also a Slow Club Christmas party at the Queens Social Club to look forward to – find the details for that and much more below. (PS. If you’re not going to see Japandroids at The Harley there is something seriously wrong with you.)
November 2nd – Tame Impala – Leadmill
November 5th – The Witches / Death Rays Of Ardilla / Brazinskas – The Great Gatsby
November 10th – Dead Sons – The Bowery
November 10th – The Purgatory Players / Blood Sport / Death Rays of Ardilla – S1 Artspace
November 10th – Whispering Dolls / Milk Maid / Rip Off Britain – The Harley
November 13th – Stealing Sheep – The Harley
November 14th – Clock Opera / Puzzles – The Harley
November 15th – Ghosting Season / Face + Heel / Corner Control – Bungalows And Bears
November 24th – The Crookes / Hey Sholay - Leadmill
November 28th – Mystery Jets / Swim Deep / Drenge – Leadmill
November 27th – Frankie & The Heartstrings – The Harley
November 28th – Chad Valley – The Great Gatsby
November 29th – The Raveonettes – Queen’s Social Club
November 30th – Jonny Kearney & Lucy Farrell / Laura J Martin – The Greystones
December 4th – Peace / Gabriel Bruce – The Harley
December 8th – Seize The Chair / Olugbenga (DJ set) – The Harley
December 16th – Slow Club – Queens Social Club
Back in December last year we told you Blessa were one of the bands we were most excited about seeing more of in 2012 and then, well, not a lot happened. They’ve done some shows here and there and now, finally, they’ve unveiled their first new recording for 18 months. Luckily for them, this seductively skulking demo of ‘Open Fields’ is pretty, pretty great, otherwise we’d be justifiably peeved with them for keeping us waiting, the lazy gets.
Somewhat more prolific is Adam Humphrey, who performs as Toucans. Since we last wrote about him in August, he’s filled his Soundcloud with lots of lovely lo-fi recordings, and even got some daytime airplay on BBC 6Music like a proper celeb. ‘Windows’ is his latest offering and makes him sound like a cult icon-in-waiting.
Mathy two-piece Pjaro have also been keeping themselves occupied by recording a new track, ‘Need Parmesan’ over at Tye Die Tapes HQ. Listen to it in all its wonky, melodramatic, fuzzy glory below, then make sure you see them at DAda on Saturday.
Finally, we saw Les Oeuf Pourri for the first time this month and one of them was dressed as a hot dog, which was great. They’re effectively Sheffield’s answer to the Jim Jones Revue – rough, wild, punishingly infectious garage rock.