La Folie + others: Sheffield Academy

The Stoops gentle swagger gets things off to a sedate start. Borrowing hooks from The Arctic Monkeys and choruses from The Enemy they are likeable chaps with catchy tunes. Sadly even the jaunty bass of ‘Spanish Cowboy’ fails to set the world alight.

Dark Sparks have been teetering on the edge of Sheffield’s musical consciousness for a number of years. With a new drummer and a harder edged sound they seemed poised to break through. Eyeing the crowd with suspicion singer Leigh’s screeching caterwaul reaches a fevered pitch. Sounding a touch Cooper Temple Clause ‘Crying In The Spotlight’ thrashes around between the static drums, tearing at the edges. Still tinged with the usual melodrama, this is definitely a change for the better.

Recently courting major label interest, rumour has it that Sarah Mac may not be Raw Talent for long. Mixing her own compositions with a cover of … sung in her own unique lilting. ‘Everyone Knows’ channels quirky Regina Spector, while ‘One More Kisses’s halting whisper is pure Sia. After a whole sets the lines seem to blur from one song to the next, providing the only down side; it’s all too much the same.

Local favourites The Pistola Kicks know how to the crowd fired up, with the driving guitars of ‘Boquerones’ rattling the eardrums. Ricocheting their voices off each-other singers Rich and Joe have a compelling dynamic. Dirgey guitars make way for strings, that manage to make a song about Grange-over-Sands seem almost romantic.

Wayward youngsters La Folie are on roaring form, sneering and sniping their way through the set with barely constrained anger. Clinging on to sanity by the thinnest of threads ‘Arachnophobia’ twirls around on tinkling ghost house keyboards as singer Nick bellows and screeches overhead. At times the late night sessions with Nirvana and The Pixies on perpetual loop wrench through and drag them raggedly off-key.

Songs like ‘Interlopers’ have no fixed purpose or destination are all the better for it. Prepare yourselves for a trip into the macabre universe of La Folie.