Reminds us of: Arctic Monkeys, Cage the Elephant, Kings of Leon, Supergrass, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
On a cold night in February, we ventured out to Bedford Esquires to see SHEAFS as part of independent venues week.
If you’ve not been to Esquires and you live anywhere near Bedford, do make the effort to go this place, because it’s a great little venue and it needs your support (reasonably priced drinks too!). When we arrived the bar area was full of mature rockers, which I thought was a little odd as an audience for a young alternative band. I then realised that Esquires has two rooms, one downstairs and a main room upstairs. On this night the Quireboys were also playing, hence the aged rock fraternity.
We positioned ourselves in the downstairs room, and settled down to watch the bands. I thought the room would get packed out later, but this didn’t prove to be the case and by the time SHEAFS came on there must have been just under 20 people watching. Despite the low numbers, we all had a great night, and it reminded me of how exciting it is to see music in intimate settings like Esquires.
If you’re not familiar with SHEAFS music, have a listen to their singles on one of the music streaming sites, or click on a couple of the links below. It will take 10 minutes of so out of your life and they are a great bunch of tunes. ‘Mind Pollution’, ‘This is not a Protest’ and ‘Shock Machine’ all fizz along nicely and will be joined by ‘Get Used To It’ on 12th April. Their first single ‘Nobody’s Watching’ is on Soundcloud but I'd give that one a swerve.
Although the turnout was poor for the gig, it did give us a chance to chat to the band, so we found out that they all met at university, have been gigging for a couple of years and their main influences are Cage the Elephant and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. At the time of speaking there were no immediate plans to release an album, but they had been working on a fresh bunch of songs which they played that night.
When they eventually took to the stage they rattled though an excellent set, they were tight, they had great stage presence and they were well worth the (modest) entrance money. As a teenager I managed to see the Wonder Stuff just after they had released their first single, playing small venues and SHEAFS set kind of reminded me of that – not necessarily on a musical level, but in the fact that they have the same level of enthusiasm and love of what they’re doing, and a bunch of infectious songs that have not yet found the structure that you get if there had been an album behind them. Similar to the Wonder Stuff also, SHEAFS have moved on from some fairly forgettable early material and released only the good stuff.
We had a great night at this gig and seeing SHEAFS at this stage of their development was an absolute treat.
I’m keeping my eye out for their future London gigs, and hopefully they’ll return to Bedford soon and to a much bigger crowd.