Firesuite, Vacant Skies and Das Chip Shop: West Street Live, Sheffield

West Street’s reputation of a nightmare in blue WKD-addled wrong-people, may be well-deserved, but those with a strong enough constitution to dodge by the worst of the horrors this public thoroughfare has to offer, may well be rewarded with some of Sheffield’s up and coming musical talent.

One such establishment peddling this talent, (along with pretty much any alcoholic beverage you may care to imagine, Schit Bomb or Satan’s Blood anyone?) is West Street Live and this eve we are treated to performances by Das Chip Shop, Vacant Skies and Firesuite.

First up are Firesuite with their own brand of loud-meets-quiet ambient rock. Being first on at any venue is a thankless task at the best of times, but a delayed start to proceedings allows a reasonable smattering of listeners to fill the room before they begin. Still, a shaky start gives way to a strong finish when there sound is filled out with a late-arriving keyboard player and pinned down by a solid rhythm section. Although the sound in West Street Live may not have been capable of reproducing the subtler side of their sound, there are most certainly the green shoots of an accomplished performance waiting for the right kind of performance to show their true colours.

Variety is in the air tonight as Vacant Skies take to the stage announcing that bassist and vocalist Oisin O’Doherty will be leaving for pastures new whilst the band are on hiatus. Their bass and drum driven sound is tinged with similar heaviness and complexity of post rock giants Pelican or Russian Circles, topped off with Oisin’s punk styled vocals reminiscent of later Nomeansno. Fans of any of these bands mentioned should keep their eye’s freshly peeled for any sign of a reformation in the near, or distant future.

Having not been treated to a portion of Das Chip Shop before, I have to admit a cursory Google before the gig piqued my interest when greeted with images of the band performing in nappies, and other extravagant on stage garb. Although this outfit may not come across as a completely serious outfit, due to their overt silliness, their sing-a-long anthems are performed with precision and bags of stage presence from front man Carlos. Although chippies aren’t famed for their prowess with desserts, Das Chip Shop delivered the perfect light hearted end to the evening, rounding off a meaty main course and a pleasant starter.

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