Winter Rocks -
Corporation, Sheffield, Saturday 2nd December, 2023
I get there in time to see Rotherham's Lowdrive crank up an always impressive set in with their thunderous rolling, vibing riffs and grooves of greatness. It was quite a spectacle having them up performing 'Into The Light' with those brilliant white flashes hitting us in the eyes.
Frontman, Andy Sawf even had his shirt off towards the end and it was freezing in there! Something that even Compere for the day, Caz Parker commented on.
2nd band on the bill, LaVire from Lincoln have a female singer in Chloe with a massive loud ballsy voice. It's hard, it's heavy it's loud and they almost come across like an alternative styled act with a Hole meets Arch Enemy feel to them. She asked if we are warm, while we were all in our winter layers – Hahaha!
Moskitos are very Kaiser Chiefs meets The Killers and are very Punk Alt. Indie style who hail from Boston, Lincolnshire. A band who wanted to have an edgey spelt name but then no-one could find them on the internet – Lol!
The boys have a bit of a Muse vibe too with an aggressive crunch and for some reason, their frontman sounds like a Cockney – unless he is? “Raaaaaaaaaaaaaaah Waaaaaaaaahllll”, he bawls at us whilst we get strobes 'n' darkness and brutal musical chaos. I must say that they are very atmospheric, deep and emotive overall.
You saw them last year, they are here this year as they were so good. Oxford's Molly Karloff today have Adam from Adam and the Hellcats standing in for their bassist since he is in hospital. He was having tubes down his throat or as women like to call it 'Deep Throated' says the frontman – baaaad!
It's a shortish set full of glorious fresh sounding metal with gutsy, swirly, phasing distortive guitar and fine, high-end, clear vocals.
And now it's time for Tom from Rotherham! Mr. Killner to you, along with his and his band who have just come back from a successful tour of Spain. The definitely warm us up with their Southern Rock and Americana sounds. The lads hit the big stage for the 1st time ever and completely own it! I look forward to seeing them again in 2024 as they truly deserved to be up here!
Licolnshire's Hell's Ditch come across like a poppier version of Therapy? who funnily enough play elsewhere tonight. There is a nice array of Fender Telecaster from Lee Byrne who is also one of the Winter Rocks crew. I also pick up on a bit of Wildhearts that's thrown in there too. Steve Cooper also commented that they reminded him of Ginger quite a lot too – great minds think alike right?
Continental Lovers are a cracking sleaze rock band from London. They also blend in a punky style with a bit of an Undertones feel chucked in there too. There's not many bands who will perform a happy song about suicide and even one about sleep paralysis lol – talk about random topics to write about!
Overall they are a warm, cock rockin... (got that sounds wrong) kind of outfit with plenty of bopping numbers and a clappy ditty too thrown in for good measures!
Easily the best band of the day in my humble opinion are The Bites! It really is f*ck*n' amazing sh*t right from Hollywood. This being my favourite place in California. These So-Cal guys gave us solid, hard 80's Rock 'N' Roll like 'Do Us A Favor' and even a gem by Led Zep too.
What can I say apart from star standard and completely phenomenal when it comes to performance, musical, lyrical and vocal abilities – a band that will be big and I most definitely am looking forward to seeing them again at some point!
Black Spiders are their usual ballsy triumphant selves who headline tonight. These musical arachnids are Steel City dudes to die for. Their songs are hard-hitting with strong vocals and monstrous riffs throughout their entire set and perform a brilliant cross section of their amazing material from start to finish!
The rockers do an absolutely splendid job to round off the night... See ya next year people!
Review By Glenn Milligan
Lowdrive & LaVire Photographs by Mal Whichelow
Moskitos to Black Spiders Photographs by Steve Cooper