Joe Cocker, Pulp, The Arctic Monkeys, The Human League, Warp Records, The list of musicians and music to emenate from Sheffield is a strong and varied one. Following on from our look at the new music scene in Leeds, we move from West Yorkshire to the South, to see what the Steel City has to offer.
The Time Sellers have the attitude and talent to take Yorkshire, The North and the UK by storm. It would be easy to compare the overall accent of their music to The Arctic Monkeys, but that wouldn’t convey how fresh and urgent this young Sheffield/Chesterfield band sound right now. Catch them at The Leadmill on 30th September and watch the video for their new song ‘Hat and The Crown’ with its surprisingly funky bassline and tempo shifts.
I Set The Sea On Fire
On the subject of funk, I Set The Sea On Fire describe themselves as “a loud five Piece Alternative Funk Rock band trying to fit Trumpet, Trombone & Flute on one stage”. They certainly manage to fit them all into this song. The band have impressed tastemakers enough to get them included on the bill of a gig showcasing UK bands in South Korea. You can catch them before they go at Plug (Sheffield) on 17th September.
An indie rock ’n’ roll band with the emphasis on the rock ’n’ roll, Red Faces sell out Sheffield venues on a regular basis. Another band sticking in-genre but with a really refreshing sound - they pull off the rock ’n’ roll thing without running out of gas in the upper registers. Listen to ‘We Ain’t Going Down’ to see what we mean.
Although High Hazels have been quiet on the new music front for a while, it would appear they have been busy supporting fellow Sheffield inhabitant Richard Hawley and working on some new tunes, hopefully for late 2016 release. Until then you can still listen to their 2014 song ‘Banging On My Door’.
Dead Slow Hoot
With approving plaudits that include ‘Snookerstar DJ’ Steve Davis, Dead Slow Hoot, Dead Slow Hoot’s EP ‘I Suppose They Were Better Off As Dead’ boasts sweeping melancholy moments that wouldn’t seem out of place on a Suede song. Check out their video for ‘I Hope You Never Say A Word’.
Black Mamba Fever
Four lads with a debut EP ‘Purple Drapes and Phoebe Cates’ that sounds like some sort of Jarvis Cocker 1995 punk side project, with shades of The Jam’s Sound Affects. Listen to their latest single release, 'Feeling The Strain' below.
Beat The Bandit
A perfect slice of Northern British 90s indie influences ‘The Lions Roar’ demonstrates what has made these guys so popular on their local scene.
Rock ’n’ roll is alive and well in Sheffield with Liberty Ship another indie band straddling the two genres and fitting perfectly onto This Feeling billings, like many of the bands on this list. Check out their latest ‘Don’t Wish’.
As well as a host of indie greats and electronic pioneers, Sheffield also gave us the rock band, Def Leppard. Thankfully things have improved since then. Check out Deadset Dream’s ‘Hallways’ with its Therapy? vibes and heavy guitar chops.
Dead English Gent
Also rocking hard within a deathly theme, albeit in a slightly more oblique prog fashion, are Dead English Gentlemen. Watch them butcher a mannequin in the video to their latest song ‘Buried on Muscle Beach’.
Technically from Barnsley, but included here in the interest of inclusivity, Heavy Suns bring a heaviness to the alternative-psych genre that suggests a Kerrang band who discovered The Beatles and Stone Roses and changed heading. Watch below.
With a pleasing mix of soul and alt-rock, Hot Soles are a two piece band recently described as “the most exciting Rock 'n' Roll band I have ever had the pleasure of working with” by producer Steve Power, who has previously worked with Blur and Sheffield legend Joe Cocker. High praise. Check out their ‘Glorious Blunder’.
With an artist persona that could be the lovechild of Mick Jagger and Gary Numan, Conor Houston appears to be in the early stages of his career, but has been playing guitar since the age of 10, and has toured in the US as a session guitarist, sharing the stage with the likes of Stevie Wonder. His own slick intelligent compositions include the brilliant ‘Loose End Lovers’.
Seize The Chair
For fans of Hookworms, Menace Beach, Drenge et al, this Sheffield four-piece heap masses of reverb and distortion into an already speeding, monolithic chorus and verse structure on their latest, ‘Secret Sister’.
Originating in Somerset, but relocating to Sheffield, October Drift have won over audiences in their adopted home. Check out their new single 'Cinnamon Girl' paying homage to the Neil Young song of the same name.
Sheffield’s answer to The Strokes perhaps? With members from Sheffield and nearby Ashbourne, Derbyshire, The Vellas have tightly compressed guitar driven tracks, best demonstrated by their recent track ‘Lost & Found (Too Much Blood)’.
Femur’s frontman Felix Renshaw seems to channel a young Brett Anderson (in a completely different way to Dead Slow Hoot’s Seudesque aspects). Femur have superbly sordid songs and a sleazy delivery that fits their indie, shoe gaze grunge handle well. Sneak a look at their ‘Peeping Tom’ below.
Describing their music, with a nod to David Bowie, as “Hazy Cosmic Jive”, Vultvres are still a relatively new band, but their debut song ‘Medusa’ is a promising trip through the musical cosmos.
Solid grass roots indie rock from The SSS, who recently sold out The Leadmill as an unsigned band - an achievement they share with Sheffield heroes, The Arctic Monkeys and a handful of others.
To finish the list - Indie rock with Punk and Ska influences. There’s only one track to ascertain how much ska and punk are going into the mix so far, so In Sulks are definitely one to watch, to see how things develop in the future. Check out their ‘Machine Girl’ below.
Huge thanks to all of those who made suggestions or got in touch to be involved.