Hello…? Is there anyone there? It’s a Monday night and there are no students in sight. Silence has fallen on the streets of Sheffield. The boom from Soyo soon sorts this out. The buzz of guitars pierces my eardrums whilst the familiar stench of sweat and beer fills the air. And whilst I can’t guarantee that Soyo is housing the remaining students, there’s a lot of drinking going on for a week night.
Unfortunately, I arrive late and only manage to catch the end of This Party Kills. However, having seen them live before, my first impressions are reaffirmed. Their edgy, electro rock really makes an impression and conjures up the likes of Sneaker Pimps and Prodigy’s ‘Always Out Numbered Never Out Gunned’. Check out ‘Don’t You Want Another’ to get the party started and ‘Love Is All We Need’ to slow things down.
Many of Swim Deep’s songs have the stomping, clashing quality of a teenage mood swing. ‘Beach Justice’ is a fine example of their Pixie-esq grunge sound. As I mentioned before, the acoustics in here are quite harsh and so I find a more ideal place to stand behind the sound man. I feel like I am watching a ‘cool’ band on an episode of Buffy, what with the careless we-just-threw-a-stage-in-a-living-room look that Soyo are trying to achieve. To top it off, the band maintain an attitude of not giving a shit, with their serious faces and hanging hair whilst wearing sports tops with numbers on the back as if to annoy the jocks in this imaginary high school party scenario. This experience of watching Swim Deep has been somehow unreal, leaving me feeling distanced from, rather than invited into their world.
Driftrun on the other hand, are the warmest and most welcoming of the bands. Maybe because the vocalist is more communicative, or maybe it’s simply the bands lighter, what-you-see-is-what-you-get demeanour. Songs such as ‘Berlin Wall’ demonstrate their successful fusion of indie and drum and bass whilst, ‘Final Scene’ starts with chilled piano chords before finishing in a full-throttle Pendulum kick, as vocalist, Rich Gill jogs on the dance floor squashed between the stage and the sofas. Not to worry, the next venue may prove better as Driftrun plan to perform on a rooftop for Sheffield’s much anticipated Tramlines Festival.
Citizens! Open with their second single, ‘Reptile’ which whilst unarguably dancey and popular with the crowd, doesn’t completely blow me away. It’s not until ‘Love You More’ that I get why these guys toured with The Rapture. Their use of tapping percussion, buzzing keys and an extra drum, played by the bassist, make this song the most fun and outstanding of all. I must admit that some, more minimal songs merge together, but it’s not long before another stand out track appears. The shiny electronic chorus and skipping drums make first single, ‘True Romance’ upbeat whilst the deep and resonating synths make it strangely melancholic. It’s dance tunes like these that make Citizens! so likeable and keep the crowd moving. Just one request. More of this, please.