Harley Live has in a relatively short time become the place to go for new music, taking over the domain the Leadmill, the Boardwalk and for a short while the Plug have all held. For the princely sum of £5, tonight’s line up of Sheffield’s ‘Best Friends’, the highly rated ‘Fixers’ and ‘Summer Camp’ show a commitment to bringing new bands to the city and making them accessible that extends far past Tramlines festival.
Part of Sheffield’s self declared ‘Meat Scene’ alongside Seize the Chair and Avida Dollars, Best Friends brought in the evenings festivities at the Harley with a sound that fell into the ‘rough around the edges’ sound between The Cribs and The Thermals. With a tight post punk sound they are likely to pick up fans on their travels, but missing that killer punch of that song you’ll still remember the next day. They haven’t quite found the formula they need but they aren’t far off.
Oxford’s Fixers came rushing out of the blocks with a high paced synthetic indie pop that could have justified a headline slot tonight. With tracks that echo that of Foster the People and the Wave Pictures but retaining their own sound they will likely be back in the city playing bigger venues soon.
Summer Camp released debut album ‘Welcome to Condale late last year, a slightly quirky sounding pop album that leans heavily on pop sounds that haven’t dated since the late sixties and early eighties. The carefully planned build up from the Electrician by the Walker Brothers was broken by technical difficulties causing a 5 minute delay. After the false start, Jeremy Warmsley and Elizabeth Sankey managed to get going at the 2nd attempt.
The eighties disco synth is backed up by a laid back beach surfer vocal it makes an interesting combination, one that doesn’t always hit the spot but does draw you in for more. That breakthrough point occurred late in the set when they stripped back their act to Jeremy, Elizabeth and an unplugged guitar wandering through the crowd for ‘Losing My Mind’. Following this up with a full band version of Ghost Train they turned a crowd that could have been lost into fans. Finishing the set abruptly the expectant crowd awaited an encore that never came, Warmsley and Sankey’s warm personalities and at ease vocals have gained a lot of attention, but the unique sound might not translate to wider success.