The Pierces and El May: The Leadmill, Sheffield

Hailing from LA sibling duo The Pierces packed out The Leadmill for the Sheffield leg of their ‘Creation’ album tour.

El May, Australian singer/songwriter Lara Meyerratken, graced the stage first, bringing songs about girl power and dorky dance moves with her. ‘I Played A Role’ saw the multi-instrumentalist introduced layers of percussion to the set. El May’s talent as a musician is unquestionable as she switched between guitar and keys throughout her set. The quirky singer made friends with the crowd, pointing out smiling faces and apologising whilst getting flustered at the start of one song.

The Pierces, sisters Allison and Catherine Pierce and their band, were striking from the first note of their set. Teaming pretty, country harmonies with sparkling instrumentals there wasn’t a moment where the crowd were not hanging on every word of the American sisters. Creating a heavy sound with acoustic guitars and choir girl voices seems easy for The Pierces. ‘Creation’, the whimsical title track for their latest album is scattered with synths and perfected harmonies. ‘Monsters’, described as a fairy tale for adults by the girls, is a darker and more driven tale, with the female voices taking on a more witchy vibe.

‘I Put Your Records On’ is a melancholy tale of dating musicians, breaking up with them and then hearing about it in their music. The past heartbreak resonates in the song, with the sisters’ talent for storytelling blaring through. The set then takes a heavier route, with songs about dirty secrets, and the band telling their own pretend secrets on stage, giving a nice light hearted feel to the room after the band’s more intense material. The sisters also got sassy, smashing through songs about exs and their phone calls. Leaving the stage to huge applause and appreciation from The Leadmill crowd the sisters were triumphant. The girls teased the crowd with their much wanted encore, leaving their eager crowd to chant and clap for a long time before returning.

For their encore the sisters treated the crowd to a song they said they have been singing since they were little girls. The song brings the crowd to silence as the sisters’ voices echoed almost hauntingly throughout the venue during the hymn like track, with the venue’s air conditioning unit being heard alongside the track.

What The Pierces do well is mix and match tiny elements of different genres to create songs that are perfected by layers of musical detail. The slight country twinges in the girls’ vocals go hand in hand with synths that would not have been out of place on an 80s pop track and then there are the crashing choruses and driving lyrics, rounding everything up to create that distinctive Pierces sound.