This Party Kills, Sour Cherry, Resonate, Q-Ship: O2 Academy, Sheffield

What first strikes me when I enter the Academy 2, is the diversity of the crowd. Most are on team Sour Cherry. Even young children who are up way past their bedtimes, are sporting Sour Cherry T-shirts. But as the night wears on, we are left with the more grown up, dark and delicious performance by This Party Kills.

Though Q-Ship look like they’ve just walked out of their A-levels, they sure know their way around the stage. Starting out on guitar, the vocalist, Josh Kalsi, perches over a piano for their second song. Back on his feet, the next song is a melodious, uplifting, grunge tune, resembling something of Pearl Jam. However, the sound levels leave something to be desired, as the vocals are almost completely drowned out. Songs towards the end, do sound more level and display a funkier seventies influence, making me think of American highways. All in all, Q-Ship are a nice fusion of rock genres.

Resonate are a completely different mix. The set up is one male vocalist on guitar, one female vocalist and a drummer. The difference being, there is a electronic, dance element running through their music. ‘Cigarette Love’ and ‘Step Up’ have a nineties trance feel, partly owing to the constant dance beat. I can’t quite decide if I like the idea of indie-dance, but then comes, ‘Taken For You’, in which, the constant thump ends and is replaced with a drum’n’bass influenced track. Despite, Alex Piearcey calling ‘Pieces’ a, ‘Lovey dovey track’, it is not another soppy stereotype ballad. The whining guitars make it gritty, whilst the harmonies are beautifully spot on. Resonate turn out to be a welcome surprise.

By now, the crowd is thick and the Sour Cherry entourage move forward. As the first song opens with a pop reggae guitar and frank lyrics, vocalist, Courtney has a similar attitude to that of Lily Allen. The second song reinforces this, as she tells the tragi-comic tale of her poor student days, matched with melodramatic weeping guitar.

‘Butterfly’ is a harder rock song which makes more of an impression on me. By rebellious teen song, ‘I Don’t Care’, the familiar crowd are whole-heartedly singing along. They end on, ‘Gettin’ High’ an energetic dance song with the help of a rapper. Though Sour Cherry are fun, the hype surrounding the band is a lot to live up to.

The entourage have vanished and without warning, a hard electronic beat pierces the room. Under the strips of light on the darkened stage is vocalist, Sophie Bramley West in a little black dress and beside her, the heavy strums of a male guitarist. This Party Kills are heavy like dark, nineties, drug music. You could easily compare them to the likes of Prodigy. This is no place for children. Things slow down but remain provocative with, ‘Love Is All We Need’. Her magnetic voice rings through the emptied room making the performance all the more effective. ‘Get Out’ leaves the soft vocals behind for doubling over in throaty shouts, whilst the gritty, dub step sounds and bass guitar boom angrily. The funny thing is, West’s voice is so light as she thanks the crowd. She invites us closer before finishing with the rocky, Pendulum style, ‘Don’t You Want Another’ and straddling the fence that separates the stage from the crowd. This Party Kills are full of spark and intrigue.