Pink Grease - Hallam Union
Pink Grease are what some are describing as the “new Sheffield sound”, which in reality is a call back to the “old” Sheffield sound of Pulp-esque heavy Art-Rock from the early 80s.
The support for the night came in the shape of The Boxer Rebellion and The Vacation. The former were probably the better of the two, but being first up the crowd didn’t really warm to them that much, which is unfortunate because they were really quite good. With a sound not too dissimilar to The Cooper Temple Clause crossed with The Delays they were certainly a surprise hit for me. Ones to listen out for from their set list include:
Code Red, we have this place surrounded, and Never Knowing
The second band (The Vacation) were great entertainers, who certainly got the crowd up and singing but alas it’s a pity they weren’t quite as good musically as they were entertainment wise. What I mean by that is, the lead singer wasn’t as musically talented as his stage antics suggested, he was thrashing about the stage energetically, throwing his microphone about the place and jumping into the crowd while attempting to break-dance on the floor. However the rest of the band were pretty good, including the lead’s brother on lead guitar who produced some masterful licks reminiscent of 70s garage bands turned popular.
The main event however, (Pink Grease) totally blew me and the crowd away. Id heard that they are notorious for on-stage antics but I really didn’t expect to see the bassist strip down to his brown y-fronts then do a stage dive from an (extremely) high speaker stack (while still managing to hold down the beat!) Highlights from the set included Into your heart, Fever, The Pink G.R.Ease, Superfool and Party Live. The Lead guitarist (Steven Santacruz) livened up the crowd after every song, shouting out instructions like some sort of crazed DJ. The band themselves look crazy, and certainly don’t look like they would produce the excellent sound they give off, and what a sound they give off. The band describe it as “the sound of now”, and if now is an eclectic mass of craziness then they are right. Another thing that struck me is that unlike ‘The Vacation’ all of the band members have an equal share of on-stage madness, and all of them have a certain sort of talent which should ensure they’re the big thing next year. Special praise has to goto band member Nick Collier who managed to stand up lugging an extremely heavy looking synth/stylophone fusion instrument for the complete set unhindered.
Overall, it was a pretty amazing gig, which I’ll certainly not forget for a long time. I look forward to both Pink Grease and The Boxer Rebellion to return to Sheffield for another slice of each of their totally different sounds.
The Boxer Rebellion