One fine day at Peace in the Park 2011…

Peace in the Park 2011 was held at the Ponderosa park in Sheffield. The free event included many a local act, with volunteers asking for money for a wide variety of charities. The music was good, the food range was exquisite and the bathroom lines were infinite. A beautiful day filled with great music, here’s a few of the many talents that played that day.

Carl Woodford plays some very cool tunes. Basing his sound on blues, he then extrapolates playfully, giving himself some time to tap his guitar a few times for percussion. It’s an easy going vibe, nothing but positive energy.

Having heard some hearsay about Screaming Maldini, I frankly didn’t know what to expect. After seeing them live, I still don’t know what exactly are they playing, but they play it well and they play it passionately. It’s deceitfully poppy, full of rambling moments (and matching hues of Mexican pink) and a sincerely happy act. A fellow reviewer from this site commented “way too happy, but I like the order in their chaos”. Couldn’t say it better.

Sharing two members from Screaming Maldini and sitting on the gloomier, introspective side of the spectrum was Twins. A bit of an emotional comedown after the exceedingly positive energy still buzzing in my ears, the change of pace was a great reminder of the different palettes of music that musicians can bolster when they decide to experiment with different sounds. A nod to Regina Spektor was given and the solemn set was a good change of pace.

After the solemnity  of Twins, the psychedelic, happier math rock of Kill the Captains followed. A little kid danced through their peppy set (consisting of new songs being roadtested) and their sound is pretty dancey, with a lot of tapping and a thundering drumming paired with a group of four musicians that seem to have found their footing and now experiment with their sounds.

Keeping people in very good spirits and possibly being the most jump-inducing band I’ve seen in a while, Renegade Brass Band is a collection of musicians with a clear mission: to make everyone feel their funky beat and lose a few pounds in the process. The addition of an MC during a few of the songs (like the utterly catchy ‘Nah mean, Nah’m’sayin’ ‘) gave it a hip hop edge. A quick tribute to Kool and the Gang‘s ‘Hollywood swinging’ was appreciated by this reviewer (certainly by quite a few audience members too). This music would be a massive hit in Mexico; it’s the vivacity of it all.

Speaking of appreciating, The Legend of the 7 Black Tentacles is a band with an experimental sound that needs to be seen live to really get into their experimental, art groove. A quick change of t-shirt (white for Renegade, black for legend) by V3xation (MC for both bands) and the experience that is the live show of this band kicked off. Sporting an array of various instruments (Cello, Sax, Bass, Drums, Scratches, Samples, keyboards, divine inspiration), the band amalgamates and becomes one, tackling some beautiful classic moments, some funky jazzy moments and serve from time to time as real time, organic samples for a very stylish hip hop. ‘Columns’ and ‘Shores of Orion’ are keepers.

Since everyone was still buzzing from the previous band,  Mean Poppa Lean fed on these energies to create a party atmosphere. With a vivacious lead vocalist that interacted with the audience at every single moment, the band managed to squeeze out extra energy from an audience that had been enjoying themselves all day. Sing alongs, jumping and a lot of funk rock, the band was a great end for the park leg of the concert.

After a moment to catch some breath, it was time to go to the after party, held at The Harley. Missed the first band, but Disco Bitch were playing and defining their sound is like defining what the rambling noises from a thousand mobile phones going off at once is. They are a cacophony and like to strip to their longjohns but really know how to work the crowd. Their humour was acidic but still enjoyable, including a cover/pisstake of Reel to Real‘s ‘I like to move it’.

Cobra Fist is an interesting band. While the intro tune from The Warriors plays, three men in colourful ninja outfits solemnly walk with a banner, calmly put it by the side of the speakers and after a series of samples from old kung fu films (I think), they go into this parade of art rock. It’s chaotic, but with a pattern; powerful but never exceedingly heavy and although the songs are long, they never outstay their welcome and prove they are a force to be reckoned with. Saw them before opening for Gallops and also did a top notch job back then.

Final band (for me) would be the always enjoyable, Wet Nuns, who hail from Sheffield (Alabama) and let their hellbilly accent and mastery of instruments do their charming Southern Hospitality brand of death meatl blues show. Between a few jokes that border into self-mocking and the hanging of a daisy chain of severed feet, the band always sports an impressive blues metal  that never takes itself seriously but always delivers a heckuva show. Songs about whiskey, women and death is what their repertoire is and old staples like ‘Laura’ and ‘7 year itch’ were some of the highlights, but their newer stuff is tantalising too.

The variety of styles is representative of the many talents inhabiting the city. Some are getting a few lauds, some might be needing a little more pushing around to get people’s attention (please, check Kill the captains, Legend of 7 Black Tentacles and Twins). Check the bands and maybe you’ll find something you like. It certainly showcased a few bands I’ve heard of, but never got around to see before.

Now, a shitload of photos. Enjoy.They are better than this tripe.

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Words: The Royal We (Orestes Xistos & Sam Valdes).

Carl Woodford  Screaming Maldini   Twins  Kill the Captains

Renegade Brass Band  The Legend of the 7 Black Tentacles   Mean Poppa Lean

Disco Bitch  Cobra Fist  Wet nuns  V3xation


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