Floodhounds, Sadly Dan and Concrete Armbands rip up Record Junkee
Picture this- it’s a dark, November night in Sheffield, with temperatures verging on freezing. Seeking warmth in Record Junkee, one of the city’s best independent music venues, three local bands were about to perk up this frosty, winter’s night with some good quality live music. With a bill set to stun and some fiery unreleased tracks from headliners, FloodHounds, to warm the soul, what more could you ask for, really?
First up were Sheffield-based alternative-rock quartet, Concrete Armbands. Although the crowd hadn’t quite finished forming, the energy of the band was enthralling, especially that exuded by their frontman. Despite not playing the headline slot, the band’s intoxicating energy and fun attitude never showed any sign of halting, remaining until their very last track. The members of the scattered crowd who were early, and lucky enough to witness this band’s high impact set, enjoyed an array of punchy tracks.
Concrete Armbands definitely wowed me with their high intensity set, packed to the brim with sounds reminiscent of Biffy Clyro, Muse and Royal Blood. Alongside loud riffs and stellar vocals, their sound also hinted at influences from 80s pop-rock, especially with their final song of the set where the band let themselves go (even more so), featuring the frontman’s energetic dancing.
Next up were garage-rockers, Sadly Dan who expertly brought an air of comedy to the night while managing not to distract us from their showcase of talent. Nonchalantly, half way through their set, the frontman went on to proclaim, ‘I’m bored, let’s change things up a bit’ and proceeded to swap instruments with the bassist, as they both played as if it was a completely regular occurrence. Despite this, the band continued to play to a high standard, with stand-out tracks being, ‘My Feelings Are Hurt’ and ‘Frankie You Can’t Play the Keyboard’.
This carefree energy was also channelled through the frontman’s spontaneous comments, ‘let’s play this song next?’, bringing about a sense of beautiful chaos only to be topped off by their last song. This number was very reminiscent of the tune from the ‘More Than’ car insurance advert, but I guess that really sums up the randomness of this eccentric band and characterises what they seem to be all about – having a laugh! In this same vein, they finished off with a prize for the ‘Best Band Name’ suggestions, as they stated that they changed their band name for each gig they played (I’d imagine this was only a joke, but who knows with this band!). Nonetheless, ‘The Super Zeros’ managed to win us a voucher for free garlic bread, so I’m not complaining!
Finally, it was time for headliners, FloodHounds to grace the stage for their biggest hometown gig to date. Their group of die-hard fans came out in full force, including one who has even seen them 52 times! As a big, local headline show, it was no doubt that the night held great gravity, both for the crowd who never ceased to slow down, and the band themselves, with frontman, Jack, claiming, ‘as it’s a special night, we’re going to play something special’, and it felt exactly that. Next came waves of recognition and excited laughter from the crowd as the distinctive introduction by The Special’s ‘Ghost Town’ began.
FloodHound’s headline set included many a highlight, featuring my personal favourite ‘Take It Too Far’. But, it wasn’t just their established fan favourites which thrilled, the band also premiered a couple of newbies, including new tune, ‘Cold Air’. Another special one was what is set to be their latest single. Due for release on the 6th, the track is a certified ‘3-chord indie punk thrasher’ and is no doubt a treat for the ears. A full Words For Music review will be coming in due time – keep your eyes peeled!