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Last night, I wasn’t that fussed on going out, I’m off on holiday tomorrow and I had so much to do. Niggling away at my head all day though was that two of my favourite bands were in Sheffield at the Forum: a rearranged date due to Strange Bones frontman Bobby injuring his back at a gig a few weeks ago. You never know really what to expect on a Wednesday but trust me when I say by the time we walked out of there it felt more like a Saturday night than it did a Wednesday and that’s all down to the high calibre of this line up. It was great to see what’s becoming a regular occurrence in Sheffield: members of Blackwaters, Sheafs, Floodhounds and The Velcro Teddy Bears out in force to show their support.

First up were three piece Feral Family who are based in Sheffield, a tight sounding band with alt-90’s influences which are apparent from the first track I caught. I only managed to hear the last few tracks but I liked what I heard. Well worth you checking out a track called ‘Treacle’. 

Taking to the stage next were garage rockers Calva Louise who let rip into a hypnotic set. Their third time in Sheffield, the band are gaining momentum in the city as a must-see band. Raging with an undeniable bubblegum hook and furious punk shrieks, they played all my favourites including their electrifying track ‘I’m Gonna Do Well’ and ‘Getting Closer’ as well a few new numbers that were well received by the crowd. Jess is an amazing front-woman with her screaming vocals, natural charisma and raw confidence ouzing off the stage; you are sucked in immediately by the energetic chemistry between all the band members. Hotly tipped by everyone who watches them. Put them on your must-see list.

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PHOTO: RACHEL BROWN

I don’t even know where to start with Strange Bones: they are one hell of a force of nature that know how to work a crowd and stir shit up. Pushing boundaries and invading some people’s personal space I know one thing, if I was in a band I couldn’t play after them! What a performance – talk about getting your adrenaline going. Last night was my sixth time seeing them and they continue to blow my mind every single time. Championing great songwriting alongside their anti-establishment stance I knew it’d be a brilliant gig – I just hadn’t anticipated how brilliant. I have never seen a frontman give so much of himself to a show.

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The band roared out tracks’Big Sister’ and a small yet chaotic mosh pit broke out down at the front as the crowd were given balaclavas to mosh along with. The blisteringly fast ‘Energy’ was a clear favourite as was ‘We Are The Rats’. The smarmy, sarcastic ‘God Save The Teen’ got the crowd chanting ‘Na Na Na Na Na!’ as Bobby thrust his mic into willing audience members’ faces.

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Bobby seethed (and at times smiled) with an unadulterated rage as he engaged everyone in the room from start to finish. I especially loved the faces of people who’d just wandered in off the street (all of which stayed absolutely engrossed). I’ve walked into a few gigs myself but walking in on that must have been brutal. Strange Bones are fucked up in the best way – angry and lethally potent. 

There are a smattering of defiant bands, iconic frontmen and women with serious mainstream appeal who are bubbling ferociously under the surface right now and Strange Bones are well up there – if not at the top of it. The talent within this band is immeasurable and with yet another brilliant politically minded new track ‘Blind Faith No Future’ (having what I personally think is a more mainstream feel yet keeping their integrity intact) it is literally a matter of time before this band blow up on a phenomenal scale.

RACHEL BROWN

ALL PHOTOS BY HENRY CALVERT UNLESS STATED

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