Once again, we were requested by our mates at Northern Exposure to review another night of madness in Sheffield!
First off, we’d like to express how in touch Cafe Totem is within the music community in our lively city. Another group of great people who’re doing whatever they can to help our already thriving nightlife! Once home to the Rocking Chair, Cafe Totem is now taking the local scene and beyond by storm. If you’ve not already had the pleasure, make sure you get along for a brew or to help support your local scene!
Black Mamba Fever
We love a band fronted by a bass player! They seem few and far between, but it’s a method that’s been proven to work time and time again by big names like KISS and Motorhead. Black mamba Fever have hard crunchy vocals and certainly know how to put on a show. Nice melodies on their back line, the guitar and drums are powerful and on point. They have a punky, dirty 60’s vibe with modern twists and touches drawing from psychedelia, rock and roll and are all touched up with notes that just shouldn’t work, but hell yes they make them work! Storytellers through music and plenty of yelling we absolutely loved the verses in every song and the swing of the songs changing all the time! We call this ‘cool peoples music’! We get strong feelings these are a new ‘Cramps’ in the making. Tom managed to catch them after their set and he says he talked all things ‘Melvins’ and ‘Pearl Jam’, finally saying Black Mamba Fever’s frontman had his head in the right place!
Not your average band! A lot of mixing underground Rock and Roll with a very steady vibe on their build-ups. Clean, long and loud vocals. A very well gelled band with loads of character to match. VERY atmospheric, lots of ’70s’ melodies, almost ‘shoegaze’ in parts, but definitely has a kick to it. As their set progressed, they drifted into more of the stuff we love, noise and psychedelia! Super cool riffs, we loved how they change their sound on each song! Each riff a startling compliment on the last. The take away from their set for us is this: Their sound range is huge, from Rock and Roll to steady Chicago fast double stops and bluesy undertones on guitar.
Hands Off Gretel
LOUD AND SCREAMING!! This band are one of the hottest in South Yorkshire at the moment! We need plenty more grunge in our suburbs! Raring vocals, mental guitar and pounding drums, you can’t help but mosh out big time to these! A near-perfect mix of 90’s grunge and punk, these lot are absolutely a band to watch. Tom discovered Lauren Tate on YouTube a long time ago with her cover of ‘Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’, She’s truly climbed the local scene’s music ladder right to the top. Hands Off Gretel are certainly the backbone of today’s grunge scene!
Smashing on to the Sheffield scene with an amazing entrance! When we first saw Sleep Talking, Joel’s band supported them at the RS bar sometime at the beginning of the year.
They were top performers then and still are now! They’ve come a long way since that day and they continue to grow and improve with each and every performance! We’ve never heard anything like them before or since! Their frontman is truly in his element each time he steps on stage. A great loud and clear voice that can go berserk on command, complimented beautifully by the guitar which has a spaced out stadium sound! They 100% have their own thing going on here. The drummer is pounding his way through each beat with what sometimes seems to be his facial expressions, all whilst the rest of the band are in their own worlds, yet somehow in touch over a galactic scale distance. If you’re ever getting ready to go to one of their shows, expect a HUGE stage presence, crowd surfing and the classic jumping off of amps. You should get to their next show ASAP if you’re looking for a mad night! These guys are starting a revolution and you’re all invited to go for the ride of your life!!
Written by Joel Woodruff and Tom Jackson.
Photography: Mal Whichelow