For their first show of 2012, Xrayhorse brought a characteristically strong, local line-up to a merry Saturday night Harley crowd.
Fairly recent addition to the Sheffield music scene Algiers, now signed to indie label Big Scary Monsters, took to the stage relatively early on, providing their own tried-and-tested brand of shouty lad-rock to an audience of friends and fans. Hits from the band’s Four Priests EP such as ‘Uncover Me’ and ‘To the Drunken Sailor Sway’ went down particularly well among some newer material.
Strange and Partners gave an enthusiastic performance, their guitar-driven indie sound reminiscent of mid-90s bands such as Shed 7. While their lyrics were occasionally quite uninspiring (“I said I need you once / I need you twice / I need you three times baby”) they were a hit with the audience, being the first band to fill the Harley’s dancefloor and leaving Cats:For:Peru with a thoroughly warmed-up crowd.
The headliners arrived shortly afterwards, lead vocalist Adam Follett brandishing a polished wooden ukulele with the price tag still hanging from the neck. Opening song was the haunting ‘Manifesto’, with its driving beat and synth hooks – Cats:For:Peru had the room immediately transfixed.
The band played through their well-received 2011 release We Had This Problem Last Winter, as well as throwing in some older material here and there. The pace remained overridingly buzzing and upbeat, as was fitting for the venue and the show’s atmosphere.
Synth melodies and pleasing vocal harmonies sounded consistently tight and polished. A particular highlight was anthemic stand-out track ‘Duck in the Oven’, which many if not most members of the audience seemed to both know and love.
All in all, Xrayhorse put together a superb evening of entertainment, showcasing the cream of Sheffield’s music crop in a relaxed, wholly unpretentious setting.
Words: Lizzie Palmer