WADstock: Academy 2 Sheffield

In aid of World Aids Days a team of volunteers took over the O2 Academy with an eclectic array of acts, ranging from Hip Hop Dance troupes to gay choirs. Thrown into the mix was a selection of local bands.

First up was Battle of the Bands competition winners Flares From Far Away; young school kids singing self-penned songs, including ‘Red Ribbon’ in aid of Aids awareness.

Slightly more irreverent are the comedic mock-country hick stylings of the Wet Nuns. Grinding dirty riffs with a metal bent songs like ‘Laundry’ have a hint of The Kills at their snarling best. Fictional heroes the Sheriff Leki and the Doctor Skrot are well on course to becoming full-blown local legends.

Looking slightly subdued, The Violet Mays trademark surging guitars get off to a slower start. Frontman Chris leaps on stage and the energy leaps up with ‘This Crowd’. With all the elements of classic Brit Rock bands from Kasabian to glam rockers T-Rex tracks like ‘Queen Teen’ ooze attitude from ever pore. Surely not too long before a wider audience beckons.

Another band with a bright future on the horizon are The Spires. As singer Matt Smith preens and struts through ‘Love Keels’ like a young Robbie Williams a gaggle of girls hover admiringly below. Poptastic, but full of real blazing passion ‘Fortune Favours The Brave’ is followed by a bombastic cover of Neil Diamonds ‘Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon’. Look past the pop sheen there’s real talent lurking beneath.

Final act Lords Of Flatbrush play to a sadly depleted crowd, but with no less enthusiasm. Songs like ‘Stereo Lightning’ are lifted by the sublime vocals of Bob Sinclair contributor Steve Edwards. The bouncing samba rhythms of ‘Flatbrush Music’ are punctuated by heavy riffing from Ultramegasupadeadly’s Liam O’Shea. A euphoric rendition of dancefloor classic ‘World Hold On’ draws things to a close. Inhibitions are cast aside as the crowd groove along, Lords of Flatbrush are band who know how to party, no matter what size the audience.