The Lemon Twigs Sometimes you happen upon an event which is so mesmerizingly spectacular that it stays with you for an eternity. Only a day in and I know, FOR A FACT, that last night The Lemon Twigs at the gloriously indie Leadmill in Sheffield, will be one of those.


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Starsailor Some time ago I saw four quiet, nervous lads support The Beautiful South at Sheffield Arena. Stage presence was at a minimum. What stood out was the craft in the song writing and the frankly astounding, almost angelic, voice of singer James Walsh. 16 years and five studio albums later Starsailor roll back into the Steel City 6 dates into the UK leg of the ‘All This Life’ tour. The nervousness is now replaced with a confident maturity of a band who know just how good they are and don’t feel the need to shout about it. They remind me of the kid who always gets picked last at football then turns out to be the next Lionel Messi.


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Maximo Park For a while, you could be forgiven for thinking Maximo Park had succumbed to the law of diminishing returns. For, despite a stellar career that's spanned nearly 17 years, there's a nagging feeling that they've never quite topped their classic debut 'A Certain Trigger'. While there's been plenty of decent singles, each subsequent album seemed a little more lacklustre - and, maybe, the 2015 tour celebrating the 10th anniversary of that release seemed a bit like a swansong.


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Skinny Lister It’s the second night of Skinny Lister’s headline, sold out UK tour on the back of third album 'The Devil, The Heart & The Fight'. Skinny Lister always seem to be gigging. I have no idea when they find the time to write and record new material but they manage it and the quality never slips. Their third album is glossier and more polished than 'Down On Deptford Broadway' and 'Forge & Flagon' but it still has that distinctive Skinny Lister feel. Punk Shanties I think has to be the accepted Lister genre. Certainly live the new songs get the full on SL treatment.


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Emmy The Great It's been, unbelievably, 10 whole years since Emma-Lee Moss rechristened herself Emmy The Great and embarked on a career that's produced three studio albums, a soundtrack to the film Austenland and a number of collaborations.


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Blossoms Blossoms announced their arrival onto The Leadmill stage with a dazzling show of lights and the roaring introduction of Kanye West’s ‘Black Skinhead’ heightened only by the appreciative tones of the fawning crowd. An impressive start.


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The Icicle Works Early start for this one but Ian McNabb doesn’t mess about when it comes to playing live. The first time I saw him (solo acoustic set) he informed us to phone the babysitter to let them know we’d be late. Tonight the current Icicle Works line up is on stage for 8pm and leave at around 11pm. Even with a 15 minute break that’s serious value for money.


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Everything Everything Formed in late 2007, the alt-pop-rock band ‘Everything Everything’ (EE) have released three albums to date: ‘Man Alive’, 2010, ‘Arc’ in 2013 and ‘Get to Heaven’ in the summer of this year; which, lyrically speaking, Higgs refers to as a “horror bible”. The dark and often formidably violent lyrics “I’m going to kill a stranger, so don’t’ you be a stranger.” written by Higgs, contrast dramatically with the bright pop-like sound which, when performed lived is highly stylised and sensory in effect, intensified by the blaring lights and panels of colour that lit up The Leadmill, Sheffield on Monday night. The band consists of members Jonathan Higgs, lead singer, Jeremy Pritchard, bassist, drummer Michael Spearman, Alex Robertshaw, lead guitarist, and touring musician Pete Sené on keyboards.


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Darwin Deez Darwin Deez took to the stage at the Leadmill, Sheffield, in the smaller, intimate side room, packed with people and fairy lights, each member with a disposition so cheery it seemed to bounce off the walls. With support from trio Peluché, Darwin’s quirky indie-pop band performed an upbeat, charming set, intermittent with the usual synchronised dance routines, with obvious 80s influences.


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Swim Deep Swim Deep’s indie-pop sound has been seemingly overturned in their second album, ‘Mothers’, released this month. With the addition of a new member, keyboardist and percussionist James Balmont, the band have wandered down an altogether different musical route. It may not appeal to quite the same audience as it once did, but it’s progressed into something else. They’ve grown up and so has their music, into a mixture of psych-pop and acid house, which, live at the Leadmill, Sheffield, was intriguing.


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Rae Morris

It’s not often that you can walk away from a gig, having been blown away (musically at least) by both support and lead performances. It’s not often that I feel the need to rave to people I’ve just met (and not just my long-suffering friends) about these amazing musicians I saw last Friday, who you just must listen to, no, go and see live because the YouTube clip you will invariably find will not come close in comparison. But that was the case of Rae Morris plus support from Roo Panes and Dan Owen at The Leadmill, Sheffield, on Friday 9th October.



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James Bay I won’t deny, I was a bit of a sceptic of James Bay before attending his gig at The Leadmill, Sheffield on Thursday night. Sure, I knew his hit ‘Hold Back The River’, but it was hard not to, considering its popularity on the radio, reaching number two in the UK, with over sixty-four million listens on Spotify (a large percentage of which had taken place in my flat, by my infatuated friends).


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Circa Waves I began listening to Circa Waves a couple of years ago when their their debut single ‘Get Away’ was released in 2013. Considering them to be brilliant and definitely needing more songs to pick from, I was excited when their debut album ‘Young Chasers’ was released earlier this year. Their performance live certainly wasn’t a disappointment, as they took to the stage with an explosion of sound and a light (literally, the lighting was fantastic) it lead me to consider if I had gone both temporarily blind and deaf. I kept jumping anyway.


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Rival Sons I had only heard a couple of tracks by the Rival Sons prior to asking to cover this gig and was hoping, as we all do when we build up to something, that they were going to impress. They didn’t disappoint – indeed they surpassed themselves in every way!


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