Elephant Keys, Silents, Slow Pines and The Blame: SOYO Live, Sheffield

It’s Monday evening and the rain is pouring down: two key factors to persuade a stay-in-and-play-scrabble evening. SOYO are up for something different, with long-standing local indie troopers Elephant Keys and their three supports pumped up for a gig. Turns out some of Sheffield are up for that option too…

Kicking off the night is the debut performance of The Blame. After a somewhat shaky start, their cover of Eleanor Rigby mid-set demands attention. From there, the band starts to become stronger, throwing out more confident solos and heavier beats. Rightly so, the general audience review afterwards is “that was pretty good for their first show”.

Slow Pines take the SOYO stage next, opening with a short and snappy song. After that though, the majority of their songs are slow ballads where they often lose focus and the audience’s attention. With constructive understanding, their final song ‘John the baptist’ has the potential to be their best song but crowd conversations had already begun. With all respect, their live show is being refined, but they’re not strong enough yet.

Main support, Silents, is lead by a Brian Connolly (The Sweet, 1970s) lookalike. Their big, loud, grand, stadium sound picked up the room and enticed the crowd to the front for the first time of the night. Adrenelin-pumped after a floor-shaking set, the frontman ended with a dig at reviewers saying: ‘[Elephant Keys are] more than mediocre guitar playing’. Pens at the ready…

Elephant Keys… they’re nothing new or innovative but they’re certainly not terrible. Not once do they stop jumping or smashing something or joke-abusing the crowd. For a three-piece band they make a lot of well-constructed noise, with lead vocals, backing vocals, synthesisers, bass, guitar and drums creating an impressive line up.

Given how comfortable they are on stage, it’s clear that Elephant Keys have been around for some time – Nick O’Malley (Arctic Monkeys bassist) used to play in their old band ‘The Dodgems’. They’ve got what it takes to wipe off their ‘mediocre’ label, they just need one thing to progress… better songs.

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