The problem with varied line-ups is not the lack of cohesiveness, but predicting the response from the public. It was a semi-cold Friday in Sheffield and Bungalows and Bears was teeming with people.
From the stage, the exceedingly well crafted blues of Mudcats Blues Trio overpowered many a fan (and a couple of newly converted too). It was pretty much impossible trying to get to the front, as it was absolutely packed and the seedy notes that the band played (quite amazing in all instruments, btw) were a great spectacle. Who says guitar music is dead when you have this type of mastery, not only on guitar, but bass and drums? ‘Rollin’ & Tumblin” & ‘Blues for Buddy Guy’ were quite the sight. Check this band if you want your blues heavy and straight to your soul.
Then the room cleared to about half capacity. Falls started playing and some more people left. It was a hard place to be for the band. It felt like a curveball, but they gave it their best, a dirty brand of scummy rock that both entertained and delivered. Stage antics involving a guitarist and the bassist doing a bit of contortionist-playing (you’d have to be there) and a very loud and raucous ending, with a cymbal being hit and paraded around were part of the chaotic, rocking atmosphere the band gave. They were very self-deprecating, sometimes maybe a tad too hard on themselves. I liked them. Punchy and fun. Deffo watching them again.
Drenge finished the night and it’s always entertaining to see two dudes doing a lot of noise. First time I saw them was way back in January 2011. They’ve come a long way, the set getting tighter (and louder), the music getting jazzier but still on the heavy side of the palette. ‘Blood & Milk’ is my particular favourite of them and it delivered. Some of the crowd came back, but it’s always a fickle beast to keep punters around in a Friday night. Still, they gave it out completely and the applause was more than earned.
Three loud bands, representing blues, gash/pop, fuck rock and plain ol’ rock. Can’t complain. Good Rough Shag.
Words: Sam J. Valdés López