Allo Darlin’ Queens Social Club, Sheffield

The lovely boy/girl vocals of opening band the Sweet Nothings are a great way to kick-start tonight’s proceedings; the fact that they’re a local band just sweetens (sorry) the deal. Their socialist leanings aren’t shoved down our throats, despite the ‘Fight the Cuts’ sticker on a guitar. In fact, lead singer Pete Green admits that they still want our money, in return for their latest single.

Tonight is all about supporting local talent, not least because the promoters Pull Yourself Together are fast becoming a regular fixture in Sheffield’s blossoming music scene. Leeds-based This Many Boyfriends bring to the stage a slightly more polished sound, but pack their set full of energy with songs from their forthcoming debut. ‘(I Should be a) Communist’ and ‘Young Lovers Go Pop!’ are particular highlights, but the real standout moment during their set comes at the end, as lead singer Richard runs off stage and parades around the entire room, shouting lyrics without a microphone. The crowd loves it.

Main band Allo Darlin’ continue the night’s indie-pop extravaganza with a cuter, more toned-down style. As they take to the stage, Aussie frontwoman Elizabeth comments on how tall she feels up there facing the crowd. Launching into ‘Polaroid Song’, there’s real feelings in the atmosphere as Elizabeth sings “feel like dancing on my own / to a record I do not know”.

The audience are all in their element, dancing as only indie-pop kids can with all the awkwardness in the world. Even Elizabeth’s guitar strap coming loose during ‘Capricornia’ can’t dampen spirits, as the band laugh it off. Similar humour comes out again later on in the set, when the band get their setlist confused, unsure whether ‘Loneliness’ or ‘Neil Armstrong’ should be next. Both get played, and both the crowd and the band are happy. Despite the band’s somewhat quiet nature in between songs, they’re clearly pleased when the gig-goers shout random things at them, including one cry of “I like your moustache!” aimed at bassist Bill – whose facial hair would make Tom Selleck jealous.

‘If You Don’t Pull’, a Just Joans cover, is one of many highlights of their set. The entire evening is nothing but a delight from start to finish, and Pull Yourself Together should pat themselves on the back for a job well done.

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