The Orielles: Bungalows & Bears, Sheffield

Hailing from Halifax, The Orielles are a band on the rise. Bonding at a house party over a shared love of Doolittle by the Pixies, the trio, made up of sisters Esme and Sid Hand-Halford and friend Henry Wade, formed a band and learnt the instruments along the way. The result is a fusion of garage-surf-pop which plays homage to their beloved Pixies, along with other alt-rock bands of the era such as Sonic Youth. The aforementioned bands’ ability to play with the dynamics of their music has clearly rubbed off on The Orielles, as latest single ‘Sugar Tastes Like Salt’ switches between hard, fast riffs and slower, relaxed grooves. But they’re more than just feedback and fuzz, with plenty of tracks washed with easy-going summer vibes and bright, spiky guitars. Their April tour led them to Bungalows & Bears in Sheffield, whose suitably laidback atmosphere went hand in hand with The Orielles’ DIY ethic.

Supporting the band were a trio of acts hand selected by the headliners themselves. The audience swelled as Rosey PM, Katie Pham & The Moonbathers and Thee Mightees one by one crafted a fun, amiable atmosphere. Rosey PM’s playful lyrics about quirky topics such as school trips and mermaids matched the band’s breezy on stage demeanour as in-jokes were thrown back and forth between themselves. There was overarching warmth to her smooth guitar pop, and Rosey’s voice was effortlessly impressive.

A quick changeover between Rosey PM and Katie Pham & The Moonbathers was aided by the band sharing two members: drummer Oliver Harrap and bassist-turned-guitarist and lead vocalist Katie Pham. Joined by bassist Jack Athey, the trio make jazz-infused surf-pop; rich with a solid, danceable groove. Athey’s basslines are melodic and winding, complementing the jazz beats and smooth tempo changes of Harrap, while frontwoman Pham crooned over her full-bodied guitar tones. Their set has prolonged instrumentals aplenty; often upbeat enough to encourage even the most statuesque members of the audience to shuffle their feet. Diverse influences resulted in an interesting experimentation with different sounds, with tropical guitar tones creeping in by the time the set closer came around.

The Moonbathers’ Delicious Clam labelmates Thee Mightees took to a Sheffield stage for the second time in less than a week, following their previous performance at Picture House Social. Bungalows & Bears was considerably fuller, and the improved atmosphere clearly benefitted the band. A more animated crowd lifted the band to another level, as the bass of their feel good, jangly guitar-pop vibrated the room and the audience cheered every track.

For a band so young and fresh faced, The Orielles are already building a solid catalogue of bona fide hits. The excitement in the crowd was palpable as they sang along, swayed and danced throughout the set. Esme’s voice is warm and comforting, and Sid’s beats mixed well with her sister’s basslines to give guitarist Henry Wade a solid platform to headbang his way through a variety of fuzzy and jagged riffs. They’re no one trick pony; the greatest strength of The Orielles is the diversity within their songs. A slower track in 6/4 time punctuated a selection of cheery surf-pop songs, and as the band closed with feisty single ‘Sugar Tastes Like Salt’, Wade let out a gleeful grin as he caught an audience member dancing along. ‘If you want a record… well, we don’t have any’, stated Wade as the set drew to a close. Despite the lack of records, they certainly have a few anthems in their locker.