With collaged walls of old gig posters, a peppering of neon signs and a basement space all too willing to burst your eardrums if you’ll let it, Sheffield’s Sidney & Matilda is clearly the venue to be to catch emerging artists put on a monumental Friday night show. There to support London’s mighty False Heads on 14th October were Leeds’ Wolforna, a band very much in demand right now, and Weekend Recovery.
The stage was set, merch was out and the nip in the air downstairs soon went as bodies packed into the room to catch Wolforna open. To say they had never played in Sheffield before, the crowd they brought was unreal. Wolforna’s shows are tight and offer expertly positioned demonstrations of flawlessly rehearsed material old and new. While ‘Broken Bones and Gritty Fights’ remained a clear frontrunner, from the wildly animated reception of upcoming new single, ‘Reset’, you could audibly hear the excitement for the heavier sound the band’s careering towards.
You don’t just stand and watch Wolforna either; you’re encouraged to engage with their infectious dynamism and ease of which they communicate with the crowd. Fan of a kimono? Well, you could say they have something for everyone indeed.
Another band who certainly deliver on the commanding presence front is Weekend Recovery, AKA False Heads’ main support on the night. Through fierce, often-screamed vocals, a piercing guitar, rumbling bass and sharp drumming, they caused a stir in Sheffield. And as for playing in among people, they more than checked that box as well.
Striding in during a hip-shaking ‘Heaven Is a Place On Earth’ walk-on, False Heads were lethally loud from the beginning. The insane pace and power of the three-piece was extraordinary; there was a proper punk feel to their angsty set, and people couldn’t get enough.
Naturally, having only brought out a new album just recently, they showed off a few shiny new tracks amid a jigsaw of previously released mega-tunes, too. Of course, there was no Frank Turner cameo but ‘Haunted Houses’ got its anticipated play. And if there was one banger in particular that seemed to get a real oomph in popularity, it was ‘Ink’.
I’m a big advocate of the ferocious ‘Rabbit Hole’, so I was glad that their well-deserved encore included it. But as finales go, ‘Cottonmouth’ couldn’t have been a better pick. It allowed False Heads to hand us one final shredding performance and leave us with some serious ear-ringing as a parting souvenir.