Throne

13 AUGUST
LUGHOLE

There’s no better way to spend a Wednesday evening than a midweek trip to the finest DIY venue in South Yorkshire, The Lughole. As the Mecca of the Sheffield punk scene, this gnarly little space has been attracting crowds from near and far since it was put together. With its popularity growing fast, the selection of bands getting a chance to storm the stage is becoming more and more eclectic, showcasing underground talent of all shapes and sizes - the perfect venue for the sweet little line-up of Baba Naga, Kings and Throne.

First on stage were Sheffield’s salacious psyche trio, Baba Naga. A combination of vivid talent, the three musicians have pretty much covered the musical spectrum in their separate endeavours, and have now settled together in a bewitching occult of psychedelic shredding. Stealing the hearts and souls of most of the audience, and the show in my opinion, this was a set not to be missed. Go and see this band right away for an all-round sonic thrill.

Next up were Kings, a sludge band from Leeds showcasing their latest EP, I Trust The Hounds Are Hungry. Stepping up the heavy guitars and picking up the tempo, they had the whole room involved, spilling onto the floor themselves. A few minor hiccups with the mic only added to the DIY atmosphere of the evening, with not a bitter ego in sight.

The headliners of the evening, Throne, travelled from London for the occasion to kick off their UK tour. Again completely gripping the entire crowd, this ‘euphoric doom’ band got everybody very excited. With a strong image, a badass drummer and a catchy sound that left a little taste of Sabbath in my mouth, I was hooked from the start, and am definitely looking forward to their return. A great night and another win for Sheffield’s underground gems.

Tasha Franek

Death Shanties

14 AUGUST
RIVERSIDE

Heretics’ Folk Club takes place on the second Thursday of each month at the Riverside. Hosted by I Thought I Heard A Sound, unlike your typical folk club the night offers the audience an eclectic array of performers who are loosely connected by their fascination with sound.

The fifth edition of Heretics’ Folk Club focusses on improvisation. Opening proceedings is talented local musician Jim Ghedi. Accompanied by live art from Keith How and Edith Rothwell, he plays a two-song, 30-minute set armed with a guitar, alto saxophone and loop pedal. Bringing the inventiveness and intricacies of his recorded output to his performance, Ghedi plays around the edges of his music, interspersing it with a hellish woodwind tangent. Capturing the audience in his immersive thrall, the quality of the music is matched by that of the art.

A séance with Throbbing Gristle is what we’re promised next, and Nick Kilby and Matthew Cheeseman serve up a fascinating mix of performance art and spoken word. They eschew consumerist values, tackling the modern plague on society before turning their attention to one which afflicted The Age of Discovery - religion. There is a reading from A Fiery Flying Roll, a text by Abiezer Coppe, a member of a heretical sect called The Ranters who believed that God was in all creatures, leading them to deny the validity of the church. This fiery tirade against inequality and hypocrisy is engineered and accompanied by an overture which evokes a sense of that era.

Alex Neilson, drummer with Trembling Bells, returns to his first love – improvisation. Joining him is Sybren Renema on saxophone. What follows is an unapologetically sweaty and fiery free jazz inferno, both performers assaulting the crowd with spellbinding musicianship and powerful sonic intensity. Ending with ‘Fly Me To The Moon’, the duo round off a fabulous evening of music and performance.

Rob Aldam

Reset Records

15 AUGUST
ROCKING CHAIR

Recently, I’ve been hating the idea of going out at the weekend, especially to a busy club night. It all sounds like such a ballache to me now. Whether it’s the scene that has changed or I’ve just become a grumpy old man, I’m not sure. Either way, this night seemed like a nice transitional step to get back involved.

Formerly known as The Nelson Rock Bar, The Rocking Chair is a decent venue. There’s a proper bar area upstairs with tables and chairs, and underneath is a nice little basement space where the music goes.

On arrival security were friendly, as were the staff, and I didn’t have to queue at the bar. Good start. After chatting to a few mates I hadn’t seen in a while and failing to quit smoking, I went and had a look downstairs, where Reset Records owner Dan J of Huddle was playing some chunky disco and house.

The space is your standard basement set up – a DJ booth and a dancefloor with a little bar to the side to save you going upstairs all the time. The acoustics are favourable, the humble little sound system was plentiful and sounded solid.

The music was of a high quality all night, as you’d expect from the impressive line-up, including Ohm Sweet Ohm residents and talented Sheffield-based producers Pedram and Squarehead. A steady turnout of rhythmic house kept people bopping away nicely. It wasn’t rammed, as expected for a relatively new venue in Sheffield during the summer, but you can tell that, with a few little tweaks, this place has the potential to be something pretty special.

We’re lucky to have our own independent underground dance music record shop in Sheffield. If you want to buy some vinyl, or just go down and say hello, the shop can be found in the Avec Building on Sidney Street, opposite the Rutland Arms. Support your local scene.

John Gillett

Craig Charles

24 AUGUST
LEADMILL

I could tell from the Twitter feed of this multi-talented ball of scouse that Craig Charles’ Funk and Soul radio road show was going to be a bank holiday blast. He asked “Who’s ready Leadmill?” With that enthusiasm, who wouldn’t be? Whether you know him as Dave Lister, the taxi driver from Corrie who has a habit of dipping in out of the Rovers for various drug related charges, or as the bloke in the dodgy leather jacket who presented Robot Wars, tonight’s most method-acted routine was awesome. After yet another fantastic warm up set from man about town Andy H, no acting was required as Craig took to the stage and asked once again whether Sheffield was ready. Yes, we were.

It didn’t take long for one of TV’s bigger jokers to transform into a sweaty, dancing, air-bass guitar playing funk and soul deity with an impeccable ear and a first-class way of communicating with the crowd, both verbally and sonically. Like David Rodigan, Craig Charles does a great job of conveying his genuine passion for the music with such exuberance, although this time it’s strictly funk and soul.

Truth be told, I was too engrossed with the groove to give a blow-by-blow account of the set, but highlights included the classics, Marvin Gaye et al and a very early spin of the Bar-Kays ‘Holy Ghost’, a modulating stonker with a great break down. All in all, there was rhythm for everyone to get down to and this was helped by a flashing light spectacle behind the stage courtesy of the Leadmill, which made the venue feel like a real house of funk.

Tristan Shorrock