Come to my pod

Cats:for:Peru + Zapp Brannigan @ Sheffield Hallam Hubs, Pod A

A gusty Wednesday brought me to the Sheffield Hallam’s Hubs, that strange maze of party rooms, bars and never-ending binges.

Below, people massed to see some football match between squads I have no knowledge of. Music first, sports later.

Cats:for:Peru always give an intense and honest show and this night, at the Hubs, was no different. Frontman Ad always likes to interact with the public, sometimes going for self-deprecating humour and joking about instruments behaving badly.

Gig staple ‘Manifesto’ is always a good one to listen to live,  I can’t get bored of it and the ukulele certainly behaved well this night. There were a couple of new songs being played, like ‘Duck in the oven’ (from the new EP, We had this problem last winter) and ‘Open house’, a song which has the staple genre-hopping signature that Cats:for:Peru go for. I’m always amazed at the ease they can just jump seamlessly from one genre to another and ‘Open house’ would be a great exhibit for this. Rock, post punk and dance, all neatly packed in 4 minutes (give or take).

‘Sleeping in tightropes’, a “song about Frenchman” is a delight live. The intro (is it a sustain or a keyboard? God knows) is haunting and very thoughtful and it’s the song that pretty much sold me the new EP at the spot.

More songs from Attack of the pitching machine did an apparition. ‘Cutting the bridges in half’ has always scared me but would be lying if I didn’t say I enjoyed it. ‘Love in the lift’ seems to be a band pleaser, as they all had a smile while ripping this punchy number. ‘Fear of better things’ was the solemn ending to their set and that’s all I can say about it. Solemn and stark.

Zapp Brannigan followed and although they started with a cover of that weird song whose name I won’t mention (but don’t you wish it was as sexy as me?). So move on. It’s two fellas, with acoustic guitars and one rather dashing red coat doing some music. With tongue firmly planted in cheek.

Their set was acoustic guitars and vocals and you wouldn’t need any other instrument for it. There was the extremely funny (and depressing) ‘Quarter life crisis’, a song that pretty much describes what it is to be over 25 in this dark, strange times. “Who rolled my dices / for a quarter life crisis”. Not me, mate, I’ve complained bitterly and still waiting for a reply.

Another funny song that was simply too good to consider offensive (fuck political correctness) was ‘I did it for the boobies’, an ode to one male musician’s appreciation to, well, female chests in various degrees of undressing (allegedly). If we want to rationalise it in order to make it less base, it could be more about reaching for that one goal that we all want in this life and finding it’s not what it we expected.

No, sorry,  can’t get away with it. But it was a funny song. Their set ended with a cover of Foo Fighters’ ‘Times like these’ and, well, whatever thoughts you could have about their musical abilities is well gone by now by this cover. Not only was the music spot on, but singer Nathan Brumley’s voice was really good, with the final parts of the song letting his voice shine and let the structure tremble.

A real shame that it was horribly underattended (stupid football) but both bands made a great show. Cats:for:Peru delivered an excellent show as always and Zapp Brannigan was a pleasant surprise. Who says there aren’t good bands in Sheffield?

Setlist Cats:For:Peru

1. Mystery new one

2. Duck in the oven

3. Open house

4. Manifesto

5. Cutting bridges in half

6. Sleeping in tightropes

7. Love in a lift

8. Fear of better things


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Zapp Brannigan

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About the author: Where’s Kif Kroker?

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