Slow Club Gig Preview For Their Queens Social Club Show (Harley Live – 12/12/13)

It’s all very well to “hold on to where you’re from” if “it’s where your heart goes, when you’re done”, but what happens if that place is Sheffield? Thus when you return to the Steel City and walk through the Wicker Arches dilapidated, tired-eyed but transformed; you’re greeted not by caterwauls of comfort but the apathetic and cacophonous snap! of countless Red Stripe cans, LAD chants of “you’re not from New York City, you’re from Rotherham!”, the final splutter of departed industry and an unsympathetic “yeah…so?” from the opportunistic, austerity adoring, trust fund activists. You realise that although you might know where you’re from, it doesn’t quite know you anymore.

Homecoming can be hard for the wide-eyed, especially if, on the road, you’ve developed a penchant for the exotic. But unlike Sheffield’s fab four, entrenched South-Yorkshire stalwarts Slow Club (Rebecca Taylor – Vox, Guitar & Kit, Charles Watson – Vox, Guitar & Keys) haven’t lost their roots in the bustle of New York or suddenly found themselves in the deserts of Deep South. Instead, through deft subtlety, they have slowly evolved from the Folk-Pop, cutesy, chair-playing ‘mixtape band’ of yore (providing wistfully naive young love odes to soundtrack many a hormonal bedroom teen’s tentative first romantic steps) into reluctant mentors and observers who in turn soundtrack those teens’ mid-20s weight-of-the-world crisis’ with a now far heightened arena-pop tower of timbre. Despite this sonically transformative journey, the duo have retained their prized ability to emphatically tease out the colours and shades of youth’s often erratic and delicate emotions. Which, combined with their aforementioned idiosyncrasies, heartbreakingly relatable lyricism and affection for festivity gives us all the more reason to longingly await the return of Slow Club.

Fitting, then, that their forthcoming gig at Queens Social Club combines not just a homecoming show with last-stop-of-the-tour fervour, but the date also falls far safe within the cosy boundaries of the festive month, and for a band in no way adverse to a Christmas tune or two (…they have a whole EP’s worth of them) punters can expect a raucous display of giddy Folk-Pop that tumbles sonically from the Peak-District highs of chorus-biting ‘Two Cousins’, ‘Me and You’ and ‘Our Most Brilliant Friends’ to the lyrically sublime lows of tentative, thought-stompers ‘Christmas TV’, ‘You, Earth or Ash’ and ‘Boys On Their Birthdays’ that, in ramshackle defiance, flicks two fingers at the meticulous falsity of seamless Indie Rock.

Powered by homely colloquialisms (such as Rebecca’s penchant for wearing the infamous ‘Rotherham is the New Berlin’ t –shirt), down on the farm (in Yorkshire) harmonies (their third album material is sounding increasingly Gospel and R’n’b influenced) and fireside cheer (it is Christmas after all) Slow Club will bring a brilliant, cacophonous 4-piece Rock show to perfectly compliment their majestic 2-piece performances of yore, and prove that sonic evolution does not have to entail emotional diminution.

Albums and Songs of the Year 2013 - We Want To Hear From You!

Following on from our post announced the next Small Ideas Zine, we also want to hear from you on your favourite albums and songs of the year.

We’re looking for you to submit a list of your top 10 albums and top 10 songs of this year to Feel free to include a short description of why you have selected your choices. When all the results are in we’ll announce Small Ideas members’ top 10 albums and songs of the year right here on our website as well as including the lists in our up and coming zine.

Like the zine, you have until this Sunday 8th December to submit your lists, so get thinking!

Small Ideas Zine

Earlier this year, Small Ideas Sheffield created a zine, and now we’re looking to do another one - and we want your help!

If you have anything you want to contribute, from a doodle to raising an issue you feel is important, then we want to hear from you.

Pleas email with any submissions you have, no matter how small. Entries close this Sunday 8th December.

23/11/13 Preview #2: Poledo


As previously announced, Small Ideas are putting on a show with Tie Dye Tapes a week today. To whet your appetite for the show, we will be bringing you mini interviews with the bands playing in the run up to Saturday’s event. Next up: Poledo.

How did you guys get started?

I made loads of demos on my laptop, and then I got asked to play a few shows so I played with a laptop for a while. In the end I got my mates from another band I was in to play the songs. The start of a beautiful relationship.

What is your best memory of the band?

Last summer we helped to put on a gig in an abandoned swimming pool in Oxford. I can’t really believe we managed to pull it all off. Loads of our mates bands associated with Reeks of Effort played, like Beta Blocker and the Body Clock, Playlounge, King Of Cats, and Joanna Gruesome. Such a banger.

Any advice to anyone who wants to start a band?

Just do anything you want to do. Even though we work within the boundaries of what a ‘traditional band’ should be, I don’t necessarily think anyone needs to adhere to that. Get involved, and be enthusiastic, and be thoughtful.Just remember that golden rule, it’s all about fun!

What new bands would recommend?

Beta Blocker and the Body Clock, Jeff Wode, Trust Fund, Joanna Gruesome, Playlounge, Joey Fourr, Radstewart, Pinact, Birdskulls

Is there anything else you’ve been listening to a lot of lately?

Nai Harvest, Teenage Fanclub, Slowcoahces, Arcade Fire, Snowing, Melvins, All house DJs, Swearin’, Jawbreaker, Speedy Ortiz, Vampire Weekend

Check out Poledo on Bandcamp here.

LOW at Queen’s Social Club 16/11/13


“We know your hills….we know your shhhhopping…stretchessss” sarcastically sneers Alan Sparhawk (Guitar, Vox),   as he leers out over Queens Social Club, the scattered remains of crowd pleaser Canada spluttering and dying behind him. Quiet and deadpan yet unequivocally cocksure, his message is one of greeting, as he explains how Sheffield has ‘taken care’ of Minnesota’s LOW ever since they started coming to Britain after the release of their debut LP, way back in 1994. But despite the cordial nature of this reassurance of friendship between band and audience (and the packed out club hanging faithfully off his every word) something seems very wrong here. His message is one of comfort, but the delivery says otherwise, as it hints at a simmering, below-the-surface hostility that seems to infiltrate his every word. Thus the tone is set for the night, the bright house lights leave nowhere for LOW or the audience to hide and they must sonically commit to this nest of simmering angst if they wish to succeed tonight…and commit they do.

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23/11/13 Preview #1: O’Messy Life


As previously announced, Small Ideas are putting on a show with Tie Dye Tapes a week today. To whet your appetite for the show, we will be bringing you mini interviews with the bands playing in the run up to Saturday’s event. First up: O’Messy Life.

How did you guys get started?

We just knew each other from the indie rock scene, played in various bands….that’s it really.

What is your best memory of the band?

When we opened for Titus Andronicus in 2009. We also opened for the Vaccines that year, they stank live but I still tell people about that.

Any advice to anyone who wants to start a band?

You can learn to play ok from whenever. I taught myself when I was in my early twenties and that was probably too late and now I will never, ever be a rock star and that is sad. But it’s worth it regardless. Also don’t write lyrics where you say ‘for’ instead of ‘because’. Sing in the voice you talk in,  everyone can be guilty of diverging, me too, but regional identity is so important.

What new bands would you recommend?

Ezra furman has a new record due, he is class. Also I saw Dinghus Khan this year, they are incredibly fun live. Richard Dawson from toon, obviously. Also Tyrannosaurus Dead from Brighton. Withered Hand from Edinburgh if you aren’t familiar

Is there anything else you’ve been listening to a lot of lately?

My inner narrative telling me things weren’t meant to turn out as they have. Also the band Leatherface.

Check out O’Messy Life on Bandcamp here.

If you weren’t at the Harley last night - where were you?  Fear of Men performed a fantastic set for us and we had a great time, but if you had to miss out then you’ll be pleased to hear that we caught up with them before the show as well!  The interview will be broadcast on Small Ideas Radio next week after 10pm so tune in to hear what they had to say to Fanny.  A huge thank you to everyone who came out last night, we’ve got plenty more coming before the semester’s up!