Live Review: The Answer and The Dead Daisies in Sheffield, 14/11/16

Date: 14th November 2016
Venue: Corporation

Rock fans came out in their hoards to a packed Corporation in Sheffield to see the unusual combination of one of Ireland’s prominent blues rock bands and American/ Australian rock super-group, The Dead Daisies.

The double-header concert started with Cormac The Answer taking to the stage opening with the title track from their latest album Solas. Lead singer, Cormac Neeson’s voice soared high above the gritty blues undercurrent creating a haunting atmosphere throughout the venue.

Continuing with the powerful rock ballad, Beautiful World, there was no mistaking it, the boys were back.

Whilst most of this tour focused on their latest release, the band threw in New Horizon from 2013’s album of the same name and Waste Your Tears from the Revival record. The audience appreciated the nostalgia.

After a spell of pure driven rock in their set, the band swapped their overdriven, electric guitars for bouzoukis and mandolins for an impromptu, chilled out, acoustic set.

In This Land and Thief of Light really showed a different side to the band, their variety as musicians and strength as writers with beautiful close harmony and stripped down arrangements. A real hit with fans who sang along at the tops of their voices.

It wasn’t long before the volume and pace picked up with inviting special guest vocalist Lynne Jackaman to the stage for a duet, as per the original recording on Nowhere Freeway.

The boys finished up with a rousing rendition of Battle Cry, leaving the audience shouting out for more as singer Neeson remembered his last gig in Sheffield.

He recalled that he had been in a bad place personally on the last tour with family illness taking it’s toll, but said he felt he had made so many new friends on this visit.

It was certainly a hard act to follow, though rockers The Dead Daisies were the men for the job. Entering to a screams and cries from the audience as one by one, Doug Aldrich, Brian Tichy, David Lowy, Marco Mendoza and John Corabi arrived and kicked off their set with Long Way To Go.

Made up of previous band members of Mötley Crüe, Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy, Dio and Foreigner to name a few, their musical CV reads like something out of rock n roll history. There have been many band member changes including the introduction of Corabi in 2015 and most recently lead guitarist, Aldrich.

This tour is promoting their latest release Make Some Noise and the title track of that album sure enough features right at the beginning of their set. In true classic rock style, it packed a punch but it was not treading new ground for the band.

Covers of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Fortunate Son, The Who’s Join Together, The Beatles’ Helter Skelter and Midnight Moses from The Sensational Alex Harvey Band. All great covers, which saw the crowd joining in from the first note to the last chord.

As entertainers, you can’t fault these guys. They’ve earned their stripes with some of the most prolific rock groups in the business. Their musicianship is reflected in the plethora of flamboyant, intricate solos, yet somehow musically I felt a longing for a variety in pace, to see something more musically exposed.

An unusual mixture, but nonetheless the crowd left exhausted having sung along and danced all night. It had been energetic and impressive evening from some of rock’s finest musicians.

– Charlie Barker

View full set of live gig images: click here.

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Live Review: Good Lovelies in Sheffield, 25/06/15

Date: 25th June 2015
Venue: The Backroom, Greystones

Canadian songbirds, the Good Lovelies stopped by Sheffield’s intimate, The Backroom venue on the second night of their UK leg of their European Tour, playing to a full house much to their surprise.

As Canadian Folk Music award and Juno award winners, the delightful trio appears to be surprised and overwhelmed they can bring their own brand of roots music to another country and receive such a warm welcome. Sitting in the audience it’s not hard to see why they’ve made friends around the world.

The night is opened up by Rutland’s musical answer to Jack Dee. Paul McClure warms up the audience with his dry, witty humor. Not adverse to self-deprecating humor, McClure wins over the audience joking about his slow-tempo material; categorizing himself as a miserable country/ folk singer.

He delivers an entertaining set of his own material, telling stories through his songs, dedicating one in particular to his wife and another with an anecdote of how he became known as the ‘Rutland Troubadour’. What better way to start the night?

They’ve come a long way from home, having played previously around Western Europe before reaching the UK. Caroline Brooks, Kerri Ough and Sue Passmore take to the stage fresh faced and overwhelmed by their enthusiastic audience, also accompanied by their touring double bassist.

Burn The Plan is the new album and after a couple of years in the making the record is ready to unveil, with lots of new tracks airing tonight with several favorites thrown in for good measure.

Instantly reminiscent of the Dixie Chicks, their close three-part harmony is blows you away with precision and such beautiful timbre. Whilst they hold their own as modern folk/ country musicians, there are hints of old tradition in there too, with some lines and harmonies with a hint of the Andrews Sisters.

Fans may have had to wait for their latest release, but it was well worth it. Performances of Into The Dark, a song about jumping into the challenge of parenthood, gained lots of audience participation joining in with the catchy hook.

The upbeat, electronic feel of In The Morning was a definite parting of ways from their more traditional material, but executed in a subtle manner it successfully blended their core sound with something new. Kerri also brought out the Autoharp, a very traditional instrument used to give beautiful flourishes throughout the song.

As the band seamlessly switched instruments it was evident that their unique sound was homegrown, demonstrated on the track Waiting For You. Sue swapped her mandolin for a series of percussive instruments to give this track a crucial extra boost, replicating the sound on their latest recording.

When The City Settles, was a soothing interlude featuring rich lead vocals from Sue, with Kerri and Caroline providing the soulful and sweet close harmony.

Whilst the audience, were enjoying the new material, we were treated to an unaccompanied song, where instruments were left on the stage whilst the trio stepped down to the front row and delivered a Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris number.

Rounding up the night the band left the stage following a two-song encore, performing another unaccompanied, foot-stomping version of Johnny Cash’s God’s Gonna Cut You Down and Mrs T, a song written for an ex Mother-in-Law, who was loved more than her son!

The Good Lovelies could have carried on all night, the audience still wanted more. What a comeback and what a great new sound. We’ll eagerly await their next UK visit!

– Charlie Barker

View full set of live gig images: click here.

Tramlines Announce Final 2015 Festival Line-Up

Neneh CherrySheffield’s Tramlines Festival is thrilled to unveil the final lineup for its 2015 event taking place from 24- 26 July. Completing its mammoth bill are Buffalo Stance singer Neneh Cherry, prog-rock legends Anathema, The Charlatans’ label-mates We Are The Ocean, godfather of drum & bass Roni Size, London disco collective Horse Meat Disco and many more.

Tramlines is one of the UK’s biggest inner-city festivals where, for one weekend, 100,000 people descend upon Sheffield to turn the city centre into one huge festival site. Now in its seventh year, Tramlines continues to bring genre-spanning legendary acts alongside breaking new talent to its stages. Headliners for 2015 include The Charlatans, Basement Jaxx, and Wu Tang Clan, with support from the likes of Billy Bragg, Buzzcocks, Martha Reeves and Sugarhill Gang.

The festival will open on the Thursday night at the iconic Leadmill with a pre-party from Ninja Tuna founder Mr Scruff, who’ll bring his eclectic bigbeat sounds to the dancefloor.

Further topping up the 2015 lineup is a speaker-shaking electronic bill including Hospital Records’ Camo & Krooked and liquid drum & bass duo Fred V & Grafix, garage DJ and remix extraordinaire DJ Q, Radio 1xtra’s Monki, bass music stars Joker & New York Transit Authority, Ram Records’ Loadstar, Rinse FM DJs Mak & Pasteman, Sub Focus front man MC ID and Hypercolour’s Tom Demac.

Festival Director Sarah Nulty said: “Each year we aim to top the lineup of the year before and I think we’ve done it – the blend of established acts versus upcoming talent plus local versus international is huge! Not to mention the fact there’s something on offer to appeal to all manner of music fans at Tramlines, from rock to jazz and electronic to indie.”

The final acts join the already announced electronic bill featuring Roman Flugel, Erol Alkan, Gilles Peterson, James Holden, Evian Christ and A Guy Called Gerald, and a ton of breaking acts including Slaves, Lonelady, Dutch Uncles, Marika Hackman, Kate Tempest and hundreds more.

With a plethora of spaces to explore, from the stunning Sheffield Cathedral to intimate and noisy rock venues, live street entertainment, independent food markets and the added bonus of no mud and no camping, Tramlines is one of the UK’s most varied city-centre festivals.

Weekend tickets can be purchased from www.tramlines.org.uk for only £30 + bf, which makes Tramlines one of the best value festivals around.

For up-to-the-minute information about Tramlines 2015, visit www.tramlines.org.uk or follow Tramlines on Twitter @tramlines.

‘Carl Maloney Presents’ at the Forefront of South Yorkshire’s New Music Scene

Visit www.carlmaloney.com for more details

Visit http://www.carlmaloney.com for more details

South Yorkshire has a fine reputation for it’s homegrown musical talent and the number of Sheffield based artists lining the hall of fame is certainly something to behold.

The Human League, ABC, Joe Cocker, Paul Carrack and more recently Pulp, The Crookes, Lucy Spraggan and the Arctic Monkeys are just a few.

For those in search of new music, you’ve got to look no further than your local pubs where you’ll find a whole host of interesting a varied music nights taking place throughout the city centre.

Agenda Magazine’s Editor, Charlie Barker talks to comedian, actor and musician, Carl Maloney about his passion for new local talent and how he’s making it accessible in venues near to you.

Charlie: Tell us a bit about yourself?

Carl: It all started back in May 1978 during the FA Cup final when I had a rather traumatic entrance into the world in Jessop’s Hospital. I took it in my stride though; got bigger, fell of a few bikes, went through school, couldn’t be bothered to work and picked up a guitar.

I’ve always loved guitar music, none of that dance rubbish. All my mates played so started a band called The Sound. The Arctic Monkeys supported us on their first ever gig at The Grapes pub in Sheffield, a story I’ve told a million times and never get bored of. We had a few cracking years and reinvented the band as Seven Hills, went on to play festivals and major support slots but that all fizzled out in 2005 when other members got all boring and had kids so couldn’t commit.

I was left with nothing to do. I never missed rehearsals but I did miss playing live and being on stage. So I tried to think of other things to do. I ended up on a few national TV adverts for the Halifax bank, then in 2013 I tried out stand up comedy.

I did over 65 gigs over about two years, had some shocking gigs and occasionally had some quality ones. I never really felt right in the comedy circuit, it’s full of a***holes. I can however say that there are loads of lovely folk too.

I’m really lucky, during a stand up gig in Sheffield I was spied by Joe, a film director and Sam who ran live music nights. I started to do more and more local compere ´jobs and fell into doing that. I’ve just finished a film called South of the River that comes out later this year.

Charlie: You’ve worked as a comedian and a musician, what got you into organising gigs?

Carl: I fell out with traveling as a stand up and the hosting work became few and far between so I had a moment one day about 4am, couldn’t sleep and I thought why not have a go at my own night, host it myself and call it ‘Carl Maloney Presents’? Next minute I had a meeting with Nic at the Frog & Parrot pub in Sheffield and here we are.

Charlie: Were there many people supporting you in this way when you were gigging?

Carl: Hard question, I feel like saying no not really. You are on your own at first anyway. It wasn’t till Sam from the Big Live Event company had the faith in me to make me host of Yorkshire Unplugged in 2012 and all his festivals at Weston Park, I picked up a lot of momentum from those days.

I owe that kid a lot. Now I’m working with loads of promoters and have met some cracking folk, it’s great.

Charlie: What can we expect from a Carl Maloney Presents night?

Carl: Something different. At every ‘Carl Maloney Presents’ gig each band/ act that plays for has their set filmed by Jonny and Rob my film and sound team and I do a live interview with them. I package it up and give it them to send out to the world via social media. The nights are lovely, we all have a good drink and a laugh. I want the acts to be comfortable and to have a good time.

Charlie: Tell us more about the venues you’re currently working with.

Carl: Massive respect to Nic at the Frog & Parrot. I’ve know him a while now and he is a massive advocate of local Sheffield bands and using his pub as a springboard for them to develop. I had a 20 minute chat with him one day and thought where better to host your gig than the home of Sheffield live music?

Then late last year I was nicely alight one night at the Washington and opened my mouth to the owners about my other music night and they were interested in bringing ‘Carl Maloney Presents’ over there as well. I love the Washington, I met my wife there. I’ve spent many a night cracking wise over a few beers and can’t wait to work with them. I’ve also done work at the Leadmill, Plug, Forum and others too.

Charlie: Do you personally choose the artists you work with and if so what has drawn you to them?

Carl: Oh yes, I’ve introduced loads of them over the years so had a few contacts. I have the odd out of town band on but its 95% acts I’ve seen live out and about in Sheffield. We are blessed in Sheffield at the minute, some cracking bands out there. I’m really into the guitar scene.

I’m loving the Velcro Teddybears, Two Skies, The Monday Club, Redfaces, Adelphi, The Starkins, Howarth, The Leathernecks, The Fontaines, Kid Conventional, The SSS and The Wired. I’ll basically book anyone with “the” before their name!

It’s going really well, perhaps a bit too well. But it’s a journey I’m enjoying and will continue to do so until something else pops up.

Charlie: You’re very involved in supporting unsigned music in South Yorkshire, what are your plans for the future?

Carl: I plan to go out to more gigs this year and choose gigs with bands on that I haven’t heard before. I’m going to get amongst it and establish my nights at the Frog & Parrot and The Washington. There is something in the air at the minute around Sheffield and I love it.

Get down and support some of Sheffield’s up and coming musicians on the following nights at the Frog & Parrot, Division Street and The Washington, Fitzwilliam Street…

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