Bon Bon Club/Slow Down Tallahassee/Champion Kickboxer/Monkey Swallows the Universe – The Fuzz Club, Sheffield University – Live review

A tribute to Pogues-esque sombre festive cheer was spread early this year thanks to a display from some of Sheffield’s most wistful yet delightful bands.

Bon Bon Club – comprised of two members of Indie fashionistas The Long Blondes – opened the night with a swift set of downbeat lo-fi bass and drum led pop. A cover of Death From Above 1979’s ‘Romantic Rights’ with a pinch of inspiration from Marilyn Manson and Gary Glitter added the only piece of glimmer to the set. Finishing on a less that cacophonous take on Kasabian’s ‘Shoot the Runner’ filled out with kazoos left one feeling like Boxing Day had arrived early.

Adding a little more pop energy to the evening, Slow Down Tallahassee emerged with laidback vocals of sweetness and sincerity. If you had thought bubblegum-pop had burst its bubble then think again: with a nod to the Shangri-Las and the warmer, fuzzier elements of harmonising, Slow Down Tallahassee create pop-gems with easy on the ear mild elements of repetition.

Sheffield’s Art School minimalists Champion Kickboxer’ take on effortless ethereal pop-obscurity to leave ponderous qualities. The musical equivalent of turning up to the Christmas Party without a date but content with it, their influences stretched into the realms of the mid 90’s Super Furry Animals and Gorky Zygotic Munki’s charm and enchantment.

Soon to be disbanding on artistic hiatus, Monkey Swallows the Universe opened up with the beautiful ‘Sheffield Shanty’. Ardent and genuinely mesmerising, MSTU will undoubtedly be missed from the Sheffield scene; their combination of rousing song writing and majestic take upon stripped-down folk is nothing but encapsulating to behold.

This was not a gig to cast Christmas cheer in the modern age sense of getting blind drunk with a flimsy crown adorning one’s head, but one for rapture and embracing thought at what should be a merry time of year.

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