Formed at a New Year’s Eve party in 2010, Splashh have a DIY attitude and sound that matches their grungy, intimate inception. After self-producing their first album, 2013’s “Comfort”, Splashh have utilised the experience of Nicolas Vernhes, whose production credits include Daughter, The War on Drugs and Animal Collective, to create this year’s sophomore effort “Waiting a Lifetime”. The resultant tour through the UK and Europe has landed them at Sheffield’s Picture House Social, where they painted the bare walls with colour courtesy of their fuzzy-slacker sound.
Opening band Thee Mightees took to the stage while the venue was still relatively empty, but throughout the set fans trickled into the backroom to hear their brand of Viola Beach-esque jangly guitar-pop. Plenty of their set was cut from the same shimmering, reverb-laden cloth, but their material diverged to gruffer sounds often enough to prevent it from going stale. The bright, fast-paced riffs twisted out into the crowd, carving out the sounds of summer. Definitely a band to try and catch live in the rare Sheffield sunshine.
‘Please come forward if you want to’, muttered TRASH’s frontman, signalling their sound check was over and the second support’s set was imminent. The crowd immediately surged forward and the tension in the room lifted. The crowd looked more at ease and began to let loose, dancing to TRASH’s self-described (in a somewhat tongue in cheek manner) slacker-glitter-teenage pop. Their humour was prevalent throughout the set, introducing tracks with lines such as ‘this song is called ‘Make Up Your Mind’. It’s about making up your mind’. Their light-hearted approach served them well when, through no fault of their own, their electronic drum pad malfunctioned midway through the set. Quickly laughing it off while labeling the cut as their ‘remix version’, they restarted the song, comfortably keeping the energy and mood high through what could have been a tricky moment. While it’s easy to wax lyrical about their stage presence and easy-going demeanour, it’s important to complement their musical ability. The set was full of catchy riffs and melodic guitar pop that surpassed their teenage years and made addictive listening. By the time the set ended, it would’ve been easy to forget that they weren’t the headline band.
As Splashh began their set, lead singer Sasha Carlson beckoned the crowd to come even closer to the stage. The room had now filled enough for the audience to stretch from front to back, with plenty of fans meandering their way to the front to get as close as possible to the action. Managing to take influence from both alt-rock of the ‘80s and Britpop of the ‘90s, Splashh create a sound driven by loud, fuzzy guitars. Hints of psychedelia appear when tracks such as 2013’s single ‘All I Wanna Do’ enter the fray, and it gets plenty of fans singing along. Second album title track ‘Waiting a Lifetime’ was spruced up for its live performance, gaining a thumping, driving drumbeat before the catchy whistled melody opened the verses. The song is a real earworm, and made all the more interesting by the band’s experimentation with its performance. Closing their set with a loud and upbeat extended instrumental, feedback rang out as the band exited the stage. ‘Where’s the party tonight then, Sheffield?’ asks Carlson. It’s fair to say that after their set’s enthusiastic reception, it’s most likely wherever Splashh end up.