olf Gang are one of the bands that have a steady buzz based on a live reputation that earned them a support slot on the Naked and Famous tour earlier this year.
Opening tonight at Sheffield University’s Fusion, were Sheffield band Jack Rabbit, They’re gaining fans throughout Sheffield, I’d suggest this is in large part due to charismatic lead singer, Olivia-Roseli Neller. Their tunes may not diversify far from the alternative indie model but there’s something in her voice screaming to be let at some stronger tunes, and when they do… Next up was Kyla La Grange, in her petite frame she belted out her set with a voice, part Gaelic, part American country, whilst the drums were crashing behind her and the band provided a rock ‘n’ roll edge. As a unit her backing band are tight and well-polished, and she met a few surprised looks in the crowd who previously thought they were only here for the headline act. She’s not someone who would appear on my stereo, but her music has plenty of hooks and she’ll probably get the tagline of the British Leanne Rimes from the media. Come the Autumn I think you’ll see her playing bigger venues and Kyla La Grange will be name you hear a lot.
Wolf Gang aren’t a band, it’s a person, Max McElligot liked to make sure we knew this with his distinctive Hawaiian shirt (it’s not as bad as it sounds), I’m sure I wouldn’t be the first person to refer to Wolf Gang as ‘they’. So when ‘they’ came on, as a six strong band I tried to work out their sound. It’s a tough one, despite falling into a completely different genre, ‘they’ remind you of Caribou, I’m still trying to work out why though, answers on a postcard….
As with all tonight’s bands they were let down by the notoriously bad Sheffield Union sound, it’s a real shame as they get some great bookings and have two of Sheffield’s best rooms for live music. Powering through the technical problems, Max introduces new single ‘The King and All of His Men’ which was easily the poppiest of the set but got my feet tapping, as I’m sure many festival crowds will agree over the summer.
With bass lines that could be from a Joy Division track through to wailing guitar that could fit into place in a Dinosaur Jr set and a voice which at times slipped into MGMT, they’re a band full of surprises, or unsure of themselves. Either way they’re worth a watch this summer and I’m intrigued to see what début album Suego Faults holds.