The Greystone’s Pub, Sheffield, wasn’t a good place to be for any unfortunate southerners tonight. The Everly Pregnant Brothers are probably the most northern band ever to grace a stage and their eclectic ukulele covers really are something to admire (as long as you can keep up with the dialect). I’m not quite sure what Thom Yorke would make of the brothers’ cover of the classic Radiohead track ‘Creep’ but it goes down an absolute treat here. Shaun Doane, the band’s fairly unlikely looking frontman kicks off proceedings – ‘we’re gonna play a Radiohead song. That’ll fuckin’ cheer you up!’
The Brothers’ equation is strikingly simple. Take classic songs from the last twenty years and use Shaun’s comically genius lyrics to turn them into something absolutely hilarious. To say their choice of songs this bonfire night was eclectic would be an understatement. They’ve reworked songs by everyone from New Order to Ash, Joy Division to Cee-Lo Green and all their best material gets an airing tonight including fan-favourite ‘Hendos’ which is a heart-warming song about the advantages of locally made Henderson’s Relish set to the tune of Coldplay’s ‘Yellow’.
An Everly Pregnant Brothers gig is split almost 50/50 between music and stand-up and I’m sure nobody here tonight would have it any other way. At one point Shaun spots a toddler in the crowd and says to the poor girl’s parents ‘We might swear a bit tonight, is that okay?’ When the slightly lost looking mother said ‘yes that’s fine’ Shaun shouted ‘Good, cos’ we’re gonna fuckin’ swear a fuckin’ lot!’ which receives raucous applause. It’s moments like this that make it easy to overlook how good the band are musically, but do that at your peril because they’re just as talented as they are funny.
With six different ukuleles being played it’s a wonderful sound and there are even some virtuoso solos to go with Shaun Doane’s comically genius lyrics.It’s clear that in the packed venue, nobody is safe. Much like a stand up show, Shaun and the band take aim at everybody in earshot. The song ‘Pissed up on my GIRO’ – A retake of Thin Lizzy’s ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ – mercilessly berates people on benefits who are, let’s say, not very well behaved. Another highlight is ‘Careless Driver’, an unsubtle piss-take of George Michael’s extra-curricular activities. Thankfully, he’s not in attendance tonight. It’s not for the faint hearted, especially as it’s followed by ‘Shitting for England’ an abstract curry-based version of the New Order anthem ‘Singing for England’, with the only difference being.. well, use your imagination.
The Everly Pregnant Brothers are never going to be U2 or the Foo Fighters. That was never the intention. What they are is an absolutely storming live band that had a whole pub hanging on their every word this freezing winter night in Sheffield. That’s what live music is about. The brothers aren’t all glitz and glamour, but a ‘common-as-fook’ ukulele outfit that are headlining the City Hall in April next year. It’s not Glastonbury, but it’ll do for now.