Bear Chest, Desert Motel Club, South Paw and Dead Slow Hoot: Leadmill, Sheffield

Independent Venue Week is a 7 day celebration of small music venues around the UK and a nod to the people that run them, week in, week out.

Independent Venue Week ran from the 26th January to the 1st February, venues up and down the country threw their doors open to celebrate the past and the future when it comes to supporting new music. This night was an example of that, four bands local to the Sheffield area were hitting the Leadmills steel stage.

Up first were Dead Slow Hoot, a 3 piece, who quickly grabbed the audience’s attention with their lyrical storytelling complete with introduction. There’s an air of dirge with an added upbeat feeling, similar to that of Happyness. A flawless set where each of the songs were performed incredibly, so much so they had the crowd clapping along to their final song. They have and EP released soon, so we’ll certainly be looking out for that.

The energy was certainly increasing as South Paw hit the stage. There were a few technical hitches to start with as the vocals were initially drowned out by the screeching guitar riffs, heavy bass and the drums which sounded like one long drum solo (which isn’t always a bad thing). In huge contrast to Dead Slow, these guys took it up to another level. Fast paced, guitar based pop with a tongue in cheek anarchistic feel to it, was highlighted by lead singer Khalil as he jumped sang and scatted around the small stage. I’m pretty sure there will be AM comparisons given the style, but these guys have certainly refreshed that page.

As we turn things up to almost 11, Desert Motel Club manage to bring in a sludge feel. Their music countered the look of the band, especially the lead singer, Alice Davis, looked almost angelic compared to the music. An enticing band, who appear to working non-stop at the moment and with support like they have, we’re pretty sure they’re doing something right.

Our final band of the evening was Bear Chest, who describe themselves as ‘motorcycle rock’. Welcomed by the crowd to chants of ‘keep the riff’, the energy soared as the threesome took to the stage. A stormy, riff filled set with bassline and beats punching through the room, we were captivated. There were crowd surfers, it was hot and messy but it was certainly a flawless set.

Our night at The Leadmill certainly showcased the talent and versatility that’s around Sheffield at the moment, hats off to the bookers and team there and we salute all those independent music venues around the country, job well done and keep up the good work.