Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Live Review: SHEAFS/ SUGARMEN/ RAINBOW MANIAC/ RALE For This Feeling @ Rocking Chair, Sheffield ~ 15.04.17

I've said this a number of times now, but you can always count on This Feeling to put on an absolutely mindblowing show... so put them together with The Rocking Chair, one of the finest venues in Sheffield, and you pretty much know that you're in for a treat. I'd been looking forward to this gig for quite some time, and suffice to say it did not disappoint. The line up consisted of four equally great bands, all of whom were quite different in terms of their sound but complimented one another perfectly.

First up were the mighty RALE, whose music has an intriguing edge to it and truly is synth-pop at it's absolute finest. Their sound exudes a somewhat pensive sense of melancholy in places whilst emanating a shimmering 80's tinted aura in others, but it is this versatility and variety in sound that makes them so special. Their live performances are always nothing short of breathtaking, and there is an inexplicable yet endearing eccentricity to them, particularly in frontman Tom O'Hara whose kooky dance moves throughout make it impossible to look away. 

Cardiff based Rainbow Maniac performed with such a vivifying and confident swash, breezing through a set comprised of some of the most intelligent and dynamic rock n' roll crowd pleasers I've ever heard. There was plenty of witty crowd interaction between songs, meaning that these guys definitely bought a dose of fun to proceedings. With a bold and infectious instrumental vitality present throughout as well as a cool and confident vocal flair, this truly was a standout performance and left me eager to seek out more of their music after the gig.

Rainbow Maniac
What Sugarmen managed to do so wonderfully is pull off that quintessential rock n' roll sound, whilst still managing to remain contemporary and 100% relevant. Led by sonorous guitars and a smooth yet atmospheric vocal styling, there's a real air of confidence to them throughout; this was an undeniably note perfect performance from a young band with heaps of potential, coupled with a great deal of raw talent and energy.

Putting local heroes SHEAFS in a venue as intimate as The Rocking Chair was always going to result in absolute annihilation, but I think every single person who was in the room will agree with me on saying that this performance was nothing short of brilliant. The crowd were chanting their name before the penultimate band had even left the stage, and there was a mixture of excitement and impatience in the air as the band were setting up. From frontman Lawrence Feenstra's searing vocals to Charlie Eastaps' relentlessly thunderous drum beats, it was like one thrilling display of absolute power from start to finish.

However, like the first hit of an incredibly addictive drug, it all seemed to happen rather quickly; they powered through their hard-hitting six-track set with impressive might and dynamism, leaving everyone begging for more as they took their leave. The roar of the crowd resulted in them taking to the stage for one last song, thus concluding one of the most exciting nights of live music I've had in a long time.

Lawrence of SHEAFS

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