Tuesday, 21 February 2017



Poster for the Sheffield date.

Saturday I headed over to The Rocking Chair to attend the Sheffield date of The BlindersThis Feeling tour at which I got the pleasure of seeing Black LimePurestThe Strawberries and The Blinders.
This Feeling are an organisation which I have been following for just over a year now but before a week last Saturday I had never actually been to a This Feeling gig which was also a date of the The Blinders tour and at which The Strawberries played alongside them, it was nice to see two of my favourite up and coming bands and two new bands the first and second time I go to a This Feeling gig - both of which were sold out.

 One thing I like about every This Feeling gig that I see the line-up of is that there is never a bad band on any of them and I always discover new bands from them. This is exactly why the show at The Rocking Chair was the convivial event that it was, as those at This Feeling really do have their finger on the mark when it comes to new and exciting bands.

BLACK LIME at The Rocking Chair, Sheffield.

BLACK LIME are an explosive four-piece from Hull who were first to take to the stage of The Rocking Chair and what an excellent choice to kick off the gig they were.
One thing I feel needs addressing above everything else about this bands' live performance is their extremely effervescent front-man. Spending much time on the floor away from the main stage in between vocal sections is where he seemed most comfortable as he could really be rather up close with the audience whom were in front of him.

The rest of the band remained either meandering around the stage or stationary while spurring out energetic instrumentals, especially in the form of the electrifying guitar riffs.

This set was the first time I had heard and seen this band, they more than impressed me by way of this spirited performance which showed the bands obvious enthusiasm for what it was they were doing.

I have most definitely found a new band to keep an eye on as they progress through their musical career.

They are for sure a band which I will be seeing live again and I recommend that others get down to a show they do near them!

PUREST at The Rocking Chair, Sheffield

PUREST are a brand new for 2017 indie-pop Sheffield based outfit.

When they arrived on the stage they instantly began to connecting with the audience by way of introducing themselves and their first song.

This band are definitely well suited to the 'indie-pop' vibe and on the night this provided a slight change in direction as the rest of the bands brought a more punk / psychedelic sound to The Rocking Chair, with a post-punk edge about them however so they still fitted in with the overall sound of the night.

For me, the highlight of their set was their cover of 'Better Off Alone' by Alice DeeJay as this is nothing like anything I've seen tried before by any band during a live performance and they managed to pull it off particularly well, this track and the band themselves were an excellent choice to get the crowd moving even more following Black Lime and warmed up for The Strawberries and The Blinders as they both followed.

This band are one which I feel will definitely progress as they gig more and more this year. They already have a full set worth of songs if not more and that is going to set them in good stead for the rest year as it gives them plenty to perform and hopefully release.

THE STRAWBERRIES at The Rocking Chair, Sheffield.
THE STRAWBERRIES are a vivacious Rock 'n' Roll / Blues / Psychedelic quartet hailing from Hyde Park, Leeds.

I first discovered this band last October when I first saw them live and interviewed them for the first time, since then I have been lucky enough to see them four more times. Each time I see them I find it increasingly difficult not to be captivated by their live performance.

They maintain an air of effortlessness about them throughout and with their performance being rather high-powered you can tell that although they have clearly worked very hard on their songs and rehearsed well, music and performing live is something which to a certain degree comes natural to these boys.

When The Strawberries hit the stage, whether they are playing to a packed out room or one which is near empty (which is very rare) you know that what you are going to see is going to be nothing short of a spectacle and that is exactly what I experienced both times I have seen them over the past two weeks. A lot of bands would become de-energised when looking out to an empty room but The Strawberries are one band who give it their all no matter what. 

As they took to the stage of The Rocking Chair and played a number of songs including their most well known; Fantasy Machine, Caramel Eyes, She Rhymes To Get Away and Laburnum House there wasn't a person in the room who wasn't moving - whether it was foot tapping, nodding or dancing they certainly were not still as they watched this truly tantalising set.

They have perfectly mastered the whole Bluesy / Rock 'n' Roll vibe and image and the way they have done this, doesn't at all make it sound dated in anyway. This is something that was accentuated during Saturdays live performance through their hooks and the drumming from Ben Heath, he is definitely one of three drummers I have seen recently who have made me want to begin playing again. The psychedelic sound intertwined within this has allowed them to set themselves apart from other Blues / Rock 'n' Roll bands.

The friendship that these boys have is something which no one watching their performance can miss, particularly that of front-man Sam Neil and lead guitarist Joe Dines. They probably have the best sense of camaraderie I have ever seen between two band members and for me that is something which is truly special. You can tell just how close they are and it is something which makes the audience feel like they have a real insight into how they are in their everyday life.

Most bands have a lead vocalist and a backing vocalist and throughout their performance they remain this way. This is where The Strawberries have quite a unique aspect about them due to bassist Ethan Sherwin who during their set he swaps from backing vocalist to lead vocalist for one song, 'Sitting Idol'. On Saturday, this song was situated in the middle of their set and although Sam's voice is one I love due to it's euphoric and canorous style, it made for quite a refreshing change as Ethan's voice is equally as melodious but is slightly more mellow and is also one which I love. This is something I hope doesn't change as they write more songs and alter their set, I feel a song sung by Ethan should have a place in their set for as long as The Strawberries are performing.

I cannot stress enough about how truly brilliant I think The Strawberries are. From start to finish each and every song is melodic and in both a recorded and live format, they are sensational and that is why they are one of my favourite bands, not just out of all their fellow up and coming bands but overall out of all bands.

THE BLINDERS at The Rocking Chair, Sheffield.

THE BLINDERS are the 'punkadelic' trio who headlined the Sheffield show as part of their tour with This Feeling.

There is something about this band which makes every time you see them seem like it's the first time because with them and their crowds there is always a massive sense of excitability.

Right from the off Tom, Charlie and Matty put on one of the most raucous shows possible, helped by being in such an intimate venue where it is easy from them to walk from the stage area to get into the audience. Them getting so involved with the audience in this way is definitely something which gets the audience feeling more and more impelled as the gig goes on.

Having seen this band progress for the last two years it is absolutely incredible and rather overwhelming to watch them play gigs such as the one at The Rocking Chair on Saturday night.

They have a definitive rip-roaring nature which they have only improved upon from gig to gig it is currently the best it has ever been and is bound to only get better.
The crowd of Saturday were by far the wildest I have seen at a gig of theirs, from them forming small mosh pits, to them getting on the shoulders of others and one John McCullagh crowdsurfing and them all getting on the floor as they eagerly anticipated the drop in 'Swine' while they sang along with the line 'there is no hope'. I haven't seen them in a bigger venue than Plug which wasn't sold out and was a considerable amount of time ago but now with all the sell-out gigs they have I can imagine that other gigs they play in larger venues are even more thrilling in terms of the audience as the boys of The Blinders' sound even bigger.
This band are quickly becoming one of the most sought after bands in the country and there is no wonder why when they are giving performances like the one on Saturday.
Another of my favourite bands, they are a band who no matter how many times I see them live I fail to get bored and that for me is definitely something important to mention when talking about them as
If you haven't yet seen them live then I urge you to get down to a show as soon as possible so you do not miss out on these boys for much longer.
Both performances from The Strawberries and The Blinders have left me with much anticipation of the date at Opium No.10 in Barnsley. They are both extraordinary and on the brink of something massive.
To check out the remaining dates of The Blinders' This Feeling tour and see other dates they have, click here. To see which dates The Strawberries have left, click here.
To check out gigs that are being put on by This Feeling and get your tickets (including the remaining dates for The Blinders' tour, click here.
On Saturday I did a joint interview with The Blinders and The Strawberries ahead of the performances. You can watch it here:
Written by Sophie.

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