Dressed in rather funereal attire Sheffield’s own The Hosts get things started. Formed out of the ashes of 90s indie troopers Hoggboy, they have a fair few fans in the audience, including local legend Richard Hawley sporting his trademark quiff. The lazy American sounding drawl of ‘Go Away’ along with their sharp suits turns them into Yorkshire’s answer to The Walkmen.
Heavy drumbeats roll along, lifting momentum with ‘Wake Up’ drawing a favourable response from their entourage. The rest of the crowd seem more intent on mingling, or leaning against the bar looking nonplussed. Undeterred, the next song is more of a scratching howling call to arms, followed by the bluesy amble of ‘By Myself’. ‘Follow Me’ gets slowly more intense towards the end as singer Tim’s screams carry out over the crowd, his face red from the effort. It’s the first time they really throw themselves into a song and they sound all the better for it.
New talents I Say Marvin are keeping busy, with a string of Club dates and new single ‘Powerdown’ getting a positive reception things are looking good. Spacey keyboards loop over jagged spikes of noise and distorted sounds as ‘Overhead Perversion’ comes to a crashing conclusion. The choppy jibing vocals of ‘Powerdown’ sees the crowd start to perk up. Singer Sam Power shouts over and over again ‘I don’t care about anybody else but me’ as the swirling mass of electronic noise threatens to engulf everyone.
‘Kill Your Speed’ takes them into a more heavy Enter Shikari territory with a punky quiet-loud dynamic. I Say Marvin seem full of boundless energy and enthusiasm unfazed playing in front a small crowd, complete with the usual smattering of snogging couples and increasingly rowdy drunks. They take time to collect themselves with the slow, swaying ‘Whale Song’, but the break doesn’t last long and they revert back to a loud, more ruthless style. Frenetic basslines are backed by looping keyboards and Futureheads style harmonies, as ‘Edit-Select’ shows their ability to create a serious tune. Singer Sam and keyboard player Ashley Matthews challenge the crowd with defiant shouts of "are we what you expected?".
Busting out the obligatory live music prop, the cowbell they go a bit funkier, The Rapture style. The bouncing bass and rolling drums of ‘Gritting In Progress’ seeing them turn seriously indie disco. ‘Bar Mitzvah’ is more of the same, but progressively becomes more frantic and quickly spirals out of control ending in a mangle of frantic shouting and electronic noise. I Say Marvin have arrived and they aren’t planning on leaving any time soon.