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A Magazine for Sheffield
Live / stage review

The Display Team, Perhaps Contraption and Rosh

Viewers of this lockdown livestream entered the wonky wonderland of Buds & Spawn, eclectic sonic curators and defibrillator to the sputtering heart of the live music scene.


Rosh performing for Buds & Spawn.

Tonight was the grand finale of the livestream series that Laura Holmes and her creative team dreamed up when they found themselves unable to deliver their scheduled Arts Council-funded music and performance programme when the axe fell on the live music scene back in March 2020.

Opening the show was Sheffield artist Rosh, who gave an alfresco performance of stripped-back folk from the tranquillity of a sun-bathed Ecclesall Woods. Accompanied by Lucy Huzzard and Rick Booth, birdsong beautifully enhanced the reflective harmonies and added pathos to themes of honouring nature and contemplating our path through the world.

Having been eased in gently, the audience was hit with the full force of Perhaps Contraption’s performance of riotous, megaphone-led harmonies and groove-heavy theatrical brass explosions. Spiralling, delirious melodies were punctuated by snappy a capella drops – all in seasonally appropriate rhubarb and custard costumes. It was astonishing.

Headlining the evening were London’s The Display Team. Shielding prevented a whole band performance, but they overcame the barrier by commissioning two music videos for the event produced by the band and Stephen Cole of What Studio. The band bring a slurring and woozy melodic energy with time signatures that are simultaneously choppy and meandering, evoking The Van Pelt at their most energised. It’s all thrashed out on distorted strings and brass, and set to brilliantly disorienting visuals of shimmering lakes and rivers of grass.

The show closed with a compilation of messages from bands who’ve taken part in the lockdown series, and it was clear that it’s done more than simply providing entertainment for an audience – it’s been a lifeline for artists during a dark year for the industry. Laura and her team show the full potential of music promotion, to nurture a creative community and build a loyal and trusting audience.

Buds and Spawn are hoping to host some in-person shows in the autumn showcasing local talent, before bringing in the out-of-town bands again in 2022.

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