Bunga Bunga.

13th August.
DQ.
Reviewer - Clare Whitty.

With it being summer, most of the students had returned home and the locals were away at festivals, so I didn't really expect to see much of a crowd at Bunga Bunga. It turned out I was being a little naive, as by 1 am the dance floor had filled up with people enjoying the funky beats and heavy bass that this event has become known for. The line-up was a mix of up-and-coming Sheffield talent and they certainly didn't disappoint. The sound quality upstairs at DQ was also great thanks to the addition of 20Hz Sound System.

The first DJs on the line-up were residents Jack Opus and Checan doing a back-to-back set. They have recently been attracting attention after playing well received events such as Tramlines and Soup Kitchen. Tonight they played interesting 2-step and garage which built up slowly and smoothly to get the crowd ready for the next act Walter Ego, a party regular with a unique style of locally produced funky beats.

Lil Silva, who is starting to become a well-known and respected producer in his own right, was up next, kicking off with his remix of Sidney Samson's 'Riverside'. His blend of UK funky and garage with a twist of trance certainly impressed the crowd and got everyone moving well.

Last on the line-up was Andy H, a Tuesday Club regular and Tipping Point boss who has been playing all over the UK and at various festivals in recent memory. Some reviewers have cited him as one of the most accomplished DJs in Sheffield at present, and he was definitely the highlight of the night for me after spinning upbeat, bassy remixes of old school tracks which took me back to my youth. His set primarily drew on drum and bass, dub, garage and house, and this guy certainly knows how to get a party going with his amazing skills behind the decks. For fans of bass-heavy, old school mashups, I would highly recommend going to see him support DJ Yoda at the Academy on 8th October.

Overall, Bunga Bunga was a good night out. The crowd were friendly and the music sounded crisp. It was nice to see everyone having fun and getting along and this night reminded me why Sheffield's young talent is worth investing in.

Uncivilisation.

19th - 21st August.
hampshire.
Reviewer - tom stafford.

The Dark Mountain is the name writers and activists Dougald Hine and Paul Kingsnorth have given to their art-eco-politico-cultural project. It's good they've got a name for it, because it's hard to define. It might be about the collapse of high-energy civilisation, and what comes after. It might be an angry reaction to the way the Green movement has bowed to corporate notions of sustainability, or a call to artists and writers to create new myths, since the currents ones have failed us so badly. Or it might be a plan to redesign society so it can cope with coming resource shortages. I really couldn't tell you, and it's probably a good thing that the project remains vague enough to attract many different sorts of people.

What I can tell you, having just got back from Uncivilisation, is that the Dark Mountain boys run a great festival, with all the music, campfire tales and deeply informed chat you could wish for. Based this year, rather incongruously, in lovely Hampshire, this a small festival with talks and workshops during the day and music in the evening. With a varied menu including scything, foraging, economic theory, the Luddites, improvisation, and stories from Russia after the end of the USSR, there's enough to keep you occupied if you're into that sort of thing. But the real joy of Uncivilisation is the people you can meet and the talking you can do.

It seems like everybody who comes is a maker or doer of some kind - singers and songwriters, poets and writers, but also hackers, healers, disaster engineers and renegade bankers. The atmosphere is as friendly as you could wish for - any more and it would just get creepy. Again and again I found I could just sit down next to a stranger and very quickly we'd disappear down the rabbit hole - discussing peak oil or biotechnology, Hindu death cults or the problems with the publishing industry, prison reform or rap songs about cycling. All around, all weekend, people were meeting, talking and thinking, ideas crackling into the sky alongside the woodsmoke and live music.

Follow the white rabbit at dark-mountain.net

Chicos de Nazca.

26th August.
red house.
Reviewer - Andrew Almond.

They say in London you never more than six feet away from a rat. It's one of the great pleasures of living in Sheffield that it could be said you're never more than 50 metres away from live music, and great live music at that.

On Friday 26th the Red House played host to a line-up that was as eclectic as it was intriguing, as mesmerising as it was trippy. Following the amiable folk ditties and intricate guitar work of local Sheffield duo Short Stories, garage rock duo Bruce and Carl took to the stage. They may have been standing on a small stage in Sheffield, but the duo's abrasive brand of distortion-heavy garage rock'n'roll could have come straight out of Detroit ten years ago. Think the sound of the Dirtbombs crossed with The Paybacks. It would have been enough to make John Peel give birth to kittens. An anarchic cover of the Beach Boys' 'Do You Wanna Dance?' was delivered before the twosome departed, leaving the ears of all those gathered well and truly ringing.

It was up to self-proclaimed purveyors of repetition Leeds quintet Hookworms to step up and expand the minds of the audience now packed into the Red House. Hookworms were too big for the stage, with synths and vocals having to make do with performing a way in front of the rhythm section. Percussive bass lines provided the foundations on top of which the five-piece constructed sonic structures unrivalled in their magnificence. In front of a projected back drop of kaleidoscopic swirls and patterns, the band hardly paused for breath as one composition drifted effortlessly into the next. It was enough to make Hookworms' set feel more like a journey than a gig.

Headline act Chicos De Nazca originate from Santiago and may become the most well-known individuals to come out of Chile since those miners emerged from a hole in the ground last year. Their frontman cut an enigmatic figure - a cross between Lionel Messi and Kurt Cobain. Liberal use of the wah pedal combined with low slung Stratocaster and psychedelic clothing resulted in the aural and visual hypnotism of everyone in the room. The epic soundscapes mixed the most engaging elements of shoegaze and psychedelia without meandering aimlessly into self-indulgence. The captivating showpiece came to an end after a spellbinding three-quarters of an hour as the band departed, without a word, ignoring the calls for an encore. It brought the curtain down on a memorable evening. You couldn't move for great bands at this event. They were everywhere - like rats.

What's On.

Club 60 Singles Club Launch Party
@ Shakespeare's
3rd September
Free

Celebrating the release of the first Club60 Singles Club release, a double 7'' vinyl, with performances by obLONG, Black Cat White Cat, Michael Eden and the Don Genes, plus special guests.

The Institute of Ballads and Blues.
@ Heeley Institute
9th September
£4

Four bands at the lovely community space that is the Heeley Institute - This Frontier Needs Heroes, Cate Le Bon, Zachary Cale and Little Robots. Bring your own booze (there is no bar).

Three Trapped Tigers.
@ Harley
19th September
£5

Noisy math three-piece rip up the Harley after an impressive appearance at Tramlines. Support from Seams and Cobra-Fist.

Opus Acoustics Present: Not What You Know Sessions.
@ Delaney's Music Bar
20th September
Free

A new, fortnightly event hosted by Opus, giving local musicians and DJs a chance to chart their influences and spin their favourite records.

Battles.
@ Plug
16th November.
£12.50

Book tickets for this now before it sells out. Last time they played in Sheffield it was superb.