We arrived early on Friday evening at Sheffield’s ever so funky venue, The Picture House Social to watch three of the hottest names on the tip of everyone’s tongues, April, The Shimmer Band and Cabbage. I’ve seen headliners Cabbage a few times and absolutely loved them so I was keen to see April and The Shimmer Band perform live, as performance and stage presence is paramount to me in loving any band. I can quite frankly say now that after this gig, I’m now besotted with all three. I would go as far as to say how ever much I rave about them in this review, times that by ten and your still not even close. Current, vibrant and passionate, mark my words, here are three bands that are all set to be household names.
‘CONTINUING PRODUCTION OF THE OPEN MIND’
We’ll start with Nuneaton indie, groover’s April. The band spent last year on tour with The Sherlock’s and The Enemy and are releasing new material this year that will cement their name on the music scene. Oozing cool the band swaggered on to the stage, capturing everyone’s attention from start to finish.
The highlight for me was when the band kicked off into the heavily psychedelic, latest single ‘Open Mind’. A massive anthem which is reminiscent of the 90’s but has a shimmering electronic modern twist. The track firmly plants in your mind and stays with you.
The band put everything they have got into their performances and that clearly translated to the audience. George Cooke sauntered around the stage making the perfect front man. He was mesmerising as he enthusiastically jumped around, headbanging and gyrating around the stage to the melodic bass line.
April put together a lifting, addictive and energetic performance which never slowed and the whole set left me wanting more.
These boys have massive potential to be one of the biggest names in 2017 and I would without a doubt put them as one of your bands to see live.
The Shimmer Band
‘Shoot me baby, Shoot me! Shoot me Baby’
VOCALS / TOM NEWMAN
DRUMS / WILLZ HATCHER
GUITAR / DANIEL “BABSY” BARRY
BASS / TOM KURAS
SYNTH & GUITAR / SCHMIDT
What can I say other than WOW! The Shimmer Band is another band that absolutely blew me out of the water. These guys can put on a show.
The energy and exuberance generated by these guys was exhilarating. Frontman Tom Newman has a natural magnetism and charisma thats very rare and I cant help but make comparison in stage presence to Liam Gallagher, not as in the whole hands behind back vibe but as in you literally cannot take your eyes off him.
These guys really stand out, not one of the band stay static and they made an impact the minute they stepped foot on stage.
Powerful, confident, and euphoric, they pulled the audience in from the first note.
You know an anthem when you hear it and The Shimmer Band are full of them, playing their songs like ‘Freedom’ ‘Sunkick’ and ‘Jacknife and the Death Call’ they are consistently into their groove, with exhilarating results and you cant help but feel compelled to sing along with their catchy, direct choruses. The highlight for me was ‘Shoot Me Baby’ I have not had that song out of my head for days.
These guys have the lot, the image and the attitude backed up by the quality of their music. The songs, are songs I can imagine been played on the top radio stations and larger stages at any top festival.
Without a doubt this band is going to be absolutely huge. They are an explosive, addictive mix of rock ‘n’ roll and psychedelia.
Stick them at the top of your must see list.
“I was born in the NHS, I wanna die in the NHS“
Fighting for all that’s good, 21st century modern post-punk headliners Cabbage hit the stage next. There’s just not enough good modern political punk songs these days but Cabbage are definitely filling that gap. Having spent much of 2016 playing to ever larger crowds and picking up increased media attention they kicked off with Dissonance/Indispensable Pencil at this point the crowd surge forward. Continuing onto one of my favourites, the melodic punk number ‘Terrorist Synthesizer’ then into ‘Dinnerlady’.
They thrash on, putting their left wing views into full swing, with the amazing ‘Uber Capatilist Death Trade’ and ‘Its Grim Up North Korea’ there’s a atmosphere, the crowd are going crazy and singing along throughout. There’s quite a mosh going down at the front, especially when Broadbent jumps into the crowd head first. The band ferociously steam into a fast, furious, with well-timed and delivered lyrics, ‘Necroflat’ while Broadbent screams into the crowd. Continuing on with full on fuzzy riffs, and rip-roaring drums, Gibraltar Ape follows, then we’re onto those ear pleasing hypnotic bass riffs in Fickle and finishing on a crowd pleasing Kevin.
It seems Cabbage cannot do no wrong at the moment and i’m inclined to agree, live they are amazing, and they introduce to the scene what is vital and versatile about modern-day punk. Cabbage are clearly are at ease on the stage and they own it. Cabbage succeed yet again, and put on a supreme performance that is chaotic and fantastic.
With their thrilling sound, rebellious heavy social and political commentary and onstage antics, they are definitely the band to see at the minute.
I cannot emphasize enough to go see them now, as big things are on the horizon.