Sheffield Gig Selection 12th-18th September

[wide]payroll1 | Sheffield Gig Selection 12th 18th September[/wide]What a week we have ahead. Friday is a nightmarish clash of epic proportions.

 The Payroll Union, Michael Hughes & Robert George Saull on Friday 16th September at the Lantern Theatre
This a great line-up to mark the launch of (Pete David & )The Payroll Union’s new EP Your Obedient Servant. If you’ve not heard them then you’re missing a treat.

The finest Americana around from a band who sound like they are from the Southern Confederacy (I’m dicing with danger on my US historical knowledge a bit here) and not from Yorkshire. Support comes from two of Sheffield’s finest songwriters.

Howling Bells & Cold Specks on Friday 16th September at Plug
Howling Bells are the only band I’ve seen described as country-goth, a genre which would surely inspire the greatest band costumes.  Their music certainly has a very gloomy cinematic feel.  This week heralds the release of their third album, The Loudest Engine, which has been described as a modern psychedelic record.  It certainly marks a shift in direction to a more folk infused and rock accentuated sound, which has a very 70s feel.  Just to complete the dodgy genre fun, Cold Specks describes her music as “doom soul”. There is a rather wonderful dark gospel quality about it.

The War on Drugs & Alexander Tucker on Thursday 15th September at The Harley
There is something about The War on Drugs. Whilst their songs don’t instantly jump out of you, they embed themselves deep in your psyche. Listening to their new album, Slave Ambient, you are struck by the realisation that this is a BIG record.  Singer Adam Granduciel’s vocals bring to mind the like of Dylan and Petty and the album slowly meanders and drifts wonderfully along.  This is no ordinary band.

Slow Club on Friday 16th September at The Leadmill
Sheffield’s twee folk darlings are back with their second album, Paradise, and didn’t they just get all grown up. After an absence which has seen them widely acclaimed in the music press, they are back with a bigger and brasher sound, which looks set to career them into the mainstream of British popular music.  The new record is an impressive affair, and is testament to how far they have progressed musically.  There is a confidence here which wasn’t in evidence on Yeah So.  They have produced a much more polished and assured record whilst never losing the charm that got them there in the first place.

Kate Jackson Group, Mercury Rising & Hot Soles on Monday 12th September at Plug
Sheffield’s pop princess returns after her triumphant return to her hometown at Tramlines.  The former Long Blondes singer has a new album and a new sound.  Support comes from Sheffield’s new super-group Mercury Rising, fronted by Steve Edwards, and the raucous Hot Soles.