Friday, 18 November 2011

Madina Lake at Corporation, Sheffield

Madina Lake made their return to Sheffield as part of their UK tour on Monday. It was the first UK tour for the band since Matthew Leone’s life threatening accident and it left an excellent feeling knowing the support he has.

The first band up were Super Happy Fun Club - 6/10
They put on a good, although nowhere near as ‘fun’ as their name implies which is a little disappointing. The music was good but some of the vocals seemed weak, however these are nice guys and deserve support, also have some of the best merch around.

The main support for the night came from My Passion - 9.5/10
This was a superb performance, having seen them play a few years ago the band now has a heavier sound that they pull off to an exceptional standard. The only thing I could complain about was Laurence’s sunglasses when he came on stage, thankfully he took them off after a couple of songs.

Madina Lake 8/10
This seemed like a slow start but once it got it was superb. The Chicago four piece blast out the likes of ‘Never take us alive’ and ‘let’s get outta here’ along with songs from their new album ‘World War III’. Occasionally it became emotion as Nathan Leone referred back to the life threatening accident his brother had and its good to see him back doing what he truly enjoys. Overall this was a great night, even if you aren’t sure about Madina Lake its still worth going.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Enter Shikari at O2 Academy, Sheffield

Enter Shikari are back touring the UK for the first time in around 2 years. After going to the Sheffield gig of this tour you can take my review from 2 years ago, read it again and double up the awesomeness, that will give you some idea of how good these guyus are live. The point that they have gotten better, slicker and more insane is unbelievable. but, Im getting ahead of myself a little here.

Anyone who has tickets to see the Shikari boys on this tour, you're in for a treat. I can say that knowing it will be true no matter where you are. The support bands Let:Live and Your Demise are really good rock/screamo bands, I admit I dont know their songs but a lot of people got really into it and it warmed everyone in the audience up nicely. However, to the dance/dubstep ES fans these may not be for you.

Anyway, speaking of 'warming up' one of the first things I noticed once the 2000+/- people were crammed in and waiting for the band was just how hot it is! I was sweating before ES even came on stage!

The fourpiece from St Albans come on stage to masses of cheers and screams, launching straight into the first song Destabilise. With 2012 bringing the their third full album the tunes keep coming; Mothership, Zzzonked, Return to Energiser and No Sssweat to name a few. Recent releases Quelle Surprise and Sssnakepit are thrown in alongside songs off the upcoming album such as Arguing With Thermometers.

All made for a frantic, uncontrollable pace that you have to go with as if you're on a themepark ride. The pits appeared pretty vicious but anyone who fell down was helped back up which was good to see.

The music was loud and quite simply brilliant, the banter was funny ("Cool me down Steve!" For anybody who was there) and the show was superb. I cannot recommend going to see Enter Shikari highly enough, Karl Pilkington should add it to his An Idiot Abroad bucket list!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Zebrahead - Get Nice! Music Video & UK dates‏

The title track from zebrahead’s forthcoming album ‘Get Nice!’ is now available to buy digitally and the accompanying video has also been unveiled. It can be viewed here. The band will be playing a one-off headline date at London’s Garage on Monday 8th August. Tickets available at This will follow a performance at Hevy Festival in Kent the day before with the likes of Four Year Strong and Funeral or A Friend.

Matty from the band says of the forthcoming trip to this part of the world – "I can't wait to get back to Europe! The fans are incredible! I wish I could take them all home with me and adopt them!"

The La Habra, CA-based punk inspired rock outfit zebrahead was formed in the mist of the Orange County punk explosion and since their incarnation they have had highs and lows, sold over 1.5 million albums to date, survived label changes, garnered a Grammy nomination and toured nonstop. Fueled by pure determination and a lot of beer the band is still going strong.

Get ready to Get Nice!

Monday, 3 May 2010

Interview with The First Floor

Fresh off their second appearance at Sheffield’s O2 Academy, emerging South Yorkshire band The First Floor look set for big things in 2010. Formed in the summer of 2007, the band consists of Jonny Knott (Vocals/Guitar), Matthew Stewart (Guitar), Liam Ruane (Bass) and Tom “The Captain” Jones (Drums). This week I caught up with Jonny and Liam for an exclusive interview.

How would you describe The First Floor’s sound to someone who has never heard you before?

Jonny: Unpredictable, shouted alt-rock? I think so.

Liam: I always find it hard to compare our sound to another band. I don't mean to sound big-headed but I don't think there are a lot of other bands out there like us. I'd say if you put Biffy Clyro, Fightstar and Twin Atlantic in a blender, then sprinkled a little pop rock/punk on top you're not too far off us.

How do you guys write songs?

Liam: Usually our song writing process consists of either Matt or Johnny coming up with a guitar riff or chord pattern and work on it from there. The lyrics usually come afterward, although sometimes the lyrics and vocal tune can alter the song. We're always very picky about our song writing, we have loads of songs we've never played live or old songs we've scrapped just because we don't think they're good enough.
Jonny: We tend to go off the back of a guitar part that has something catchy, or a good rhythm, and songs can take us 3 weeks or 3 hours to fully write.

What was it like gigging with Twenty/Twenty?

Jonny: I don't know because we basically didn't. They rarely spoke to us...I think they have boundary issues. Playing the Sheffield Academy was a blast though and we get to do it again on the 13th May.
Liam: It's been an experience to say the least.... It's good to get a taste of a sort of 'big league' in terms of gigging. The Academy is a great venue to play and we've met plenty of nice people whilst playing there and it was nice of them to ask us back again

Tell us something people don't know about you?

Liam: Me, Matt and Tom used to play in a band before this, but Tom played bass instead of drums and I played guitar.

Jonny: We once attempted to cover Let's Get Retarded by the Black Eyed Peas....but it never made it to a gig.

What’s the best thing about being in a band?

Liam: The best thing would definitely be the gigging. There's nothing quite like getting a few hundred
kids jumping up and down or clapping along to a song you have written like at the Academy, I get such a buzz from it. It's ace hanging out afterward and talking to people who like your music.
Jonny: Gigs! They are the only point of being in a band. Since we've started certain gigs have stood out as the best we've played, and now the good ones are becoming far more frequent, we're on the up.

Who are your personal musical inspirations?

Liam: My inspirations initially came from video games. I used to play Crazy Taxi on the Dreamcast which the soundtrack consisted of The Offspring and other punk bands. That got me into music. Just listening to bands in general who do something a little different to the mainstream stuff catch my eye a little more.

Jonny: None I’m completely unique. Fightstar, The Editors, Twin Atlantic and Johnny Foreigner.

What is your favourite album to listen to at the minute?

Jonny: Aim & Ignite by a band called Fun, or Common Dreads by Enter Shikari. I can't choose.
Liam: I've been listening to Deaf Havana's album Meet Me Halfway, At Least a lot recently. They’re a sort of English Alexisonfire but a bit more poppy.

What is your favourite First Floor song and why?

Liam: My favourite song is Make a Scene. It's quite an upbeat powerful song that when I play it gets me pumped up and fuelled. It's quite unpredictable too, how the tempo changes quite dramatically at the start.

Jonny: Also Make a Scene, because I know who it's about and nobody else does.

What are your long-term hopes for The First Floor?

Liam: In the long run I'd hope for The First Floor to play more Academy gigs rather than the gritty bars we're used to. I think we have got what it takes to play some of these venues with bigger bands, it's just about being somewhere at the right moment and time. I'd also like to be given the chance to tour the U.K.

Jonny: Wembley! Or, to keep going, make more songs, make better songs, play better gigs. We only ever look as far as the next gig.

Do you have any news about future plans? Anything lined up?

Liam: Just looking for gigs over the summer at the moment, we're thinking of recording a music video too to help promote ourselves a bit.

Jonny: We're trying to hop on Tramlines festival in the summer, and next year we're planning to tour which we've never done before.
So that'll be a fucking disaster...

The First Floor will be playing at the Atticus Black Tour live at Sheffield O2 Academy on Thursday 13th May alongside Canadian rockers Ten Second Epic, Blitz Kids and Cars on Fire. Tickets are £5. Check the band’s MySpace at or search “The First Floor” on Facebook for further details.

By Joe Denny