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A Magazine for Sheffield

"The streets of Neepsend were alive": Get Together 2023

The city festival’s third instalment proved a great success, with standout sets from Ziyad Al-Samman and CMAT, alongside great food and drink.

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CMAT performing at Peddler Warehouse for Get Together 2023.

Jacob Flannery





On approach to Get Together, blessed with sunshine, the festival’s first artist-in-residence, Corbin Shaw, had his posters and artwork displayed around the multi-venue site.

From the brick walls surrounding Burton Road to the inside of Peddler Warehouse, the London-based, Sheffield-born artist celebrated his roots, the city's industrial history, his father’s occupation (he still works in Kelham today) and our musical prowess in the form of “IT’S BASS UP NORTH”. Corbin's artwork was a warm welcome to the festival, promoting a sense of community for punters and passersby.

With diverse acts including CMAT, THE GOA EXPRESS and Ziyad Al-Samman, Futuresound group’s triumphant one-day festival showcased the best in new music at some of the best bars in the city.

Starting at Neepsend Social Club & Canteen, the chaotic punk rock trio Drastic//Automatic injected fast-paced energy into the afternoon with their fiery, hysterical set. They may have broken a guitar during their first couple of songs, but help was on the way and as soon as they restarted they had even stronger zeal than before.

Due to the scope of talented acts billed for Get Together, clashes were inevitable and having to leave a set early to catch the end of another was expected. Quietly exiting Drastic//Automatic, a brisk walk took us to Alder bar, where we witnessed the last few songs of Ziyad Al-Samman.

The Jordan-born, London-based singer brought a slice of Arabic disco pop to Sheffield with his shimmering final track, ‘Yeah Habibi’, which had people singing along even after he’d finished. Al-Samman describes himself as “your favourite Habibi music maker.” His songs have a sweetly psychedelic aura, merging otherworldly sounds with confessional musings on everyday life. ‘I Can't Behave’ and ‘Hard To Say’ were just as captivating, with everyone swaying their hands in the air in the back room of Alder.

In high spirits, groups of attendees made their way to Yellow Arch Studios to catch KEG and then THE GOA EXPRESS, with both sets reaching full capacity quickly. Hooked on KEG’s art-punk charisma, the Brighton-based seven-piece entertained with their frenzied riffs and pummeling percussion. THE GOA EXPRESS’ set was refreshing, sun-drenched indie at its best. Performing newer tracks like ‘Good Luck Charm’ and ‘Portrait’, the Manchester group had both a uniqueness and a comforting familiarity that left fans excited and wanting more.

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Drastic//Automatic performing at Neepsend Social Club & Canteen for Get Together 2023.

Jacob Flannery

Hosted in the location where the idea for the festival was originally conceived, Kelham Island felt like Get Together's natural home. With sunlit warehouses and pockets of music bursting from small stages in bars like Alder and Heist Brewery, the streets of Neepsend were alive.

With the evening drawing to a close, Irish icon CMAT took to the main stage at Peddler Warehouse. Blending euphoric country-pop melodies with relatable lyrics, she charmed the audience effortlessly. ‘I Wanna Be A Cowboy, Baby!’ was a real crowd-pleaser, transporting fans to a retro western film landscape.

Ending where we began at Neepsend Social Club & Canteen, Devon and Sheffield came together to produce a perfect blend of shoegaze pop in the form of Pale Blue Eyes. Songs like ‘TV Flicker’ provided expansive, spacey sounds to the packed-out bar. Having recently announced their support slot with legends of the genre Slowdive, they are only just getting started.

Similar to other multi-venue festivals in the North, like Liverpool’s Sound City and Manchester’s Neighbourhood Festival, Get Together was the perfect precursor to festival season as the summer months kick in. Offering a change of scenery, the Futuresound group helped bring music lovers to a different part of Sheffield to showcase the wealth of independent spaces, from vendors to music venues.

Whether it was interacting with other like-minded people, catching your new favourite band or enjoying great food, Get Together 2023 was a wonderful experience. In the same way that the Fringe during Tramlines and Float Along Festival concentrate on different pockets of the city, from West Street to Leadmill Road and Sidney Street, Get Together brought Kelham Island to life from morning to night. Next year can't come soon enough.

by Sahar Ghadirian (she/her)

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