Monday, 24 September 2012

Pub Crawl - The Harley, Sheffield


Very few venues have that quality of being a place you can feel at ease within at any hour of the day or night, but Sheffield’s Harley doubtlessly has just that, functioning equally well for the residents of Steel City as main evening destination, Sunday hangover hideaway and legendary venue, regularly staying open until 5am.
The main attraction of The Harley, it goes without saying, is it’s ever busy gig calendar. The place is booked up (along with it’s larger sister venue, Queens Social Club) by it’s in-house promo team Harley Live, as well as a variety of independent promoters, and manages to pull in a plethora of local and touring bands. Highlights from the past few years have included This Town Needs GunsMaybeshewillA Place to Bury StrangersTubelordThree Trapped Tigers and Ghostpoet to name but a few. As well as live shows, there are all manner of great nights regularly laid on, ranging from dubstep to hip-hop, from indie to swing.
However, bands and DJs alone do not make for the perfect all-round venue. By day, The pub becomes theTwisted Burger Kitchen, offering its own take on the burgeoning gourmet burger trend. Not for the faint-hearted, the menu rather reads as a dreamscript for those held in the throes of hangover hunger. Undoubtedly the most doctor-bothering of these is the Once Bitten Twice Fried: a battered and deep fried beef patty, topped with bacon,cheese and onion strings. Other beautifully named creations include the Piggy Smalls (AKA The Notorious P.I.G), which offers triple pig product action, sausage topped with both bacon and bbq pulled pork. Fear not, there are also great veggie options with huge bean and lentil behemoths.
With the bringing together of routinely great line-ups, a good drinks range and a unique food menu, coupled with laidback, friendly staff and its urban art meets vintage shop interior, The Harley will undoubtedly be a second home to Steel City’s student crowd for years to come. To top it all off, it is afully functioning hotel, with upstairs rooms available at a reasonable price, allowing non-residents the chance to stay the night after a show!

Check out The Harley @
And make sure you get down to a show real soon!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Crusades - Golden Throats

Glasgow’s Crusades are on a mission to slay all non-believers in the holy power of the riff, and this, their debut EP Golden Throats is the first wave of their post-hardcore onslaught, tearing out of your speakers like a hot broadsword through butter. With a set that is both complex yet direct, angular yet groovy, the band announce themselves in the most bombastic of fashions.

The Scots hit the ground running with ‘Pseudo Andro’, with its arresting intermittent rifle fire guitars and high-register barks opening up a catalogue of awesome twists and turns.  Previously released as a single, there’s more solid riffs in its 5 minutes than most bands manage over entire albums, and the track has earned the band a great deal of buzz in the blogosphere as well as Radio One airplay.  It’s easy to see why – the band fizzle with a palpable vitality that can often be lacking in heavy music that is so technically proficient.  This is the sound of a very able band having fun with little regard for muso posturing. Indeed, the band are well-rooted in punk despite their math persuasions, much akin to a British answer to the Dillinger Escape Plan or a more tech reincarnation of the sadly defunct Ghost of a Thousand.

There’s no fear of them having exhausted their ideas within this first track thankfully, keeping at it full pelt with intricate, spidery intertwining guitars and ping-pong yelps on ‘Hipster Surgery’ and ‘Harlequin’. The latter features a superb change of pace mid-way through with the band finding their way into a groove where lesser peers would have settled for a beatdown. This showcases their uncanny ability to create coherence out of the unexpected. They ease off the gas further on ‘I Hear They Cured Cancer’, with its hypnotic tapping and slow, brooding menace – thankfully they are able to retain their intensity and the track not only serves to break up the EP, but stands out for its quality and not just its difference.

By the time the EP comes to a close our appetites are fully whetted for more than its 17 minutes, and even more so to catch the band in the flesh. These songs demand to be felt rather than merely listened to, and no doubt they are ridiculously fun to play. A brilliantly accomplished first record – Crusades certainly are righteous.