The concept is simple, get over 40 bands and DJs, cram them in studio on the outskirts of Sheffield and see what happens. The execution is a little more complicated. The brainchild of UltraSupaMegaDeadly’s Liam… this is the second event, following on April’s Mixed in Sheffield and it’s even bigger.
The smoky vocals of Double No No get things off to a gentle start suffused with shuffling drums. Channelling an early PJ Harvey vocalist Danni fixes the crowd with a penetrating stare. Sadly songs like ‘Pretty Sour’ are a touch one dimensional, failing a little flat when face with a restless crowd.
Oblong have no such qualms about up in … faces with their old fashioned brand of rock and roll. Diminutive singer Tracey Deakin’s voice taunts and teases as they fill the stage with raw, visceral energy.
Richard Hawley favourites The Hosts are suited and booted ‘sharp dressed men’. Alternating between Phil Spector harmonies and stonking indie choruses ‘Where The Cold Wind Blows’ is pure class. ‘Wake Up’ bellows and bounces relentless as the crowd swells out the door, the party has just begun. In the DJ room too things are warming up with Skullduggery and Squire of Gothos firing of follows of rapid-fire beats that result in some questionable dance moves.
Tonight’s host and patron Liam takes a break from running between rooms to perform as electro pioneer, Ultramegasupadeadly. Rampaging straight through collective eardrums with ‘Diet of Instinct’ the relentless beats course through the veins. Dedicating a tune to ‘all the techno heads out there’ UMSD mixes equal parts old school mash up with unrelenting burst of energy. ‘We Can Be Giant’s imposing basslines prepare the assemble throng for the onslaught.
It seems chaos has infused the air, The Violet May certainly seem to have taken on a heavy dose. Singer Chris McClure whirls the mike stand around his head like a man possessed as he belts out ‘Bright or Better’. With the anthemic wager of Reverend and the Makers (who claim Chris’ brother John McClure as frontman), they also have a hint of danger thrown in ‘This Crowd’ sees feet flying past heads as the crowd surfing starts in earnest. Blurring the boundaries between stage and crowd are what this band do best, it’s not pretty or nice, but it is addictive.
The Heebie Jeebies have a tough job on their hands, but they go about it with comparative ease. Their laidback garage style is the perfect end to the party, as the stragglers converge for one last dance. ‘In Silence’s swift clicking beats invite feet to tapping. Always short and sweet they flit from one song to the next, fusing reggae beats with jangling guitar riffs. Songs like ‘Victim’ and ‘African Bathroom’ have already become local classics, surely it can’t be too long before their particular brand of sonic joy spreads further afield.