Veronica Falls, Fear Of Men and Blessa: The Harley, Sheffield

Veronica Falls have a surprisingly broad fan base. Their debut self-titled album drew from a broad range of influences, attracting fans of many musical genres. Whilst much of it could loosely be described as indie pop, it had a distinctive dark undertones as well as a harder edge.Their follow-up, Waiting for Something to Happen, which was released at the start of February, sees them concentrate more on a core indie pop sound.

Blessa open up proceedings, and they are a band of whom exciting things have been predicted. Their output has been sporadic at best over their brief career, but they seem to have shifted in a new direction with their newer songs. ‘Pale’ has the feel of a The XX with a much greater pop focus at times whilst ‘Unfurl’ is a song that deserves to be heard by a much wider audience. They certainly have a lot of promise.

I’ve wanted to see Fear of Men for a while and Early Fragments is an impressive debut from the young London/Brighton band. Tonight, they are arguably the best band on display. Opening up with ‘Waterfalls’, before going into the fantastic lead single ‘Doldrums’, there is a freshness and vitality to their sound.  They play a set which is loaded with sweeping melodies and infections rhythms. The highlights of their set tonight are the contagious ‘Born’ and the utterly delicious ‘Ritual Obsession’.

The crowd is packed in to the Harley eagerly awaiting Veronica Falls to come on stage. They open with the first song on the new album ‘Tell Me’ to rapturous applause as the audience gets straight into it. They are rewarded with enthusiastic renditions of ‘Beachy Head’ and ‘Found Love in a Graveyard’. Of the new songs ‘Broken Toy’ and ‘Teenager’ (which they finish on) get the best response, but the fans seem to lap up all the new material. They come back out for a well deserved encore, playing a cover of Roky Erickson’s ‘Starry Eyes’ and ended with ‘Come on Over’.