Last Friday, I headed over to Sheffield’s Record Junkee where College Radio put on another of their gig nights which saw BlackWaters, Saints Among Us, Feral Family & Blue Elephant take to the stage and out of said bands, I saw three of the four.
When talking to the College Radio founders (Bradley Neen & Stephen Harrison) ahead of the event in regards to the organisation coming about, they said “College Radio was born out of a drunken realisation that we wanted to start putting on some vibey gigs and events. Being in a band together ourselves we have played under some fantastic promoters as well as some really terrible ones. We’re using this opportunity to not only book the bands we want to see but also treat them as we would expect to be treated and build up relationships. Promoting shows at a variety of venues in the city means we can work with bands from their very first shows at small free entry venues all the way up to the O2 Academy. We have branded ourselves using this vintage, 1960’s Americana vibe with a great soundtrack at every show, and hope that we can build the trust and support of music fans in Sheffield by putting on the best up and coming bands in the country.”
This is something that they definitely seemed to achieve through the gig – the whole night ran smoothly with all timings being kept, there were plenty of music lovers present and the bands appeared to be well catered for. Not only that but they also featured some truly excellent bands who put on one hell of a night.
First up were Sheffield’s very own, BLUE ELEPHANT. Only two hours prior to this event, the band lost their bassist – something which could have most definitely completely thrown them but it didn’t at all and they gave a great performance under the circumstances which they definitely deserve credit for.
Bringing their muttering grunge infused sound, Will Puddephatt (vocalist & guitarist), Beau Schreder (guitarist) and Elaina Nixon (drummer) they were an excellent choice to open for the bands which followed (that I saw).
FERAL FAMILY left me thoroughly impressed and are a band in which I will definitely be seeing live again. The Bridlington based outfit made of up Jamie Lowe (vocalist & bassist), Oscar Woods (guitarist) and Ben Beesting (drummer). Another band who recently lost members due to a reform causing them to lose two, this however is something which definitely does not show through their performance – especially due to members properly taking up different instruments within the band.
Instantly insuring that the band crowd moved themselves closer to the stage which they did. Presenting a plethora of fuzzy punk tracks, they were the perfect accompaniment for the headliners. Making full use of the stage by throwing themselves around, the guys made sure they were not just stood in the same spot for their entire set making them not only great to listen to but they managed to put on a show.
You can catch FERAL FAMILY play Sheffield as they take to Café Totem in support of Kashmere on 14th April, you can buy your tickets here.
Next up for myself was BLACKWATERS. Simply summed up as one of my favourite live bands out there at the moment as they never fail to put on an incredible show which has everyone in the room enthralled, even those who felt unsure as to whether or not they would like the quartet.
Presenting a large performance in every way possible, the Guildford originators Max Tanner (lead vocalist), David Carpenter (guitarist & backing vocalist), Ollie Franklin (bassist & backing vocalist) and James Watkins (drummer) as always, made their set seem completely effortless as they stomped their way around the entirety of the stage as well as the space within the audience, particularly that of frontman Max as he weaved his way inbetween members of the crowd.
Their truly raucous nature does not fail to show itself at every second they are onstage, their bravado presents an extremely in your face kind of vibe and it is something that again seems so effortless as they have definitely got how they wish to appear during live shows down to a T.
Presenting favourites such as Let The Good Times Roll, Fuck Yeah, Magic Man & People Street they had the audience (in some form) singing all the tracks back to themselves.
With BlackWaters now being based in Sheffield, it is great to see that they have an already substantial following there which is bound to set them in good stead when they take to Leadmill as part of their ‘Jarr’ed Up Weekender’ which shall also see them play their previous hometown as they take to The Boileroom. Tickets for both shows are available now - Sheffield / Guildford.
College Radio put on an overall great selection on well suited bands which is something I am sure they will continue to do as they continue to put on more and more gigs. If these bands are ones in which you have not seen before, I definitely suggest that you do exactly that.
You can find out future shows being put on by College Radio here.
Written by Sophie.