Every punk scene needs a space like Sheffield’s the Lughole.
A venue that is run ‘by the punks for the punks’, the Lughole is a DIY space that bands can practice, store their gear and put on shows. It’s a joint that touring bands know is a good place to include on their itinerary and one that fosters a spirited and independent approach to music and entertainment.
The band are now set to release their debut album Into the Blue.
Jo, Dave and Bry play a style that is reminiscent of classic post-punk bands of yesteryear, with strong nods to early Ebullition bands, the punk of the Pacific Northwest as well as their UK forefathers in Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen and the Cure
Tracks on the new album like "Hoax" have an almost goth feel while the title track buzzes with a Wipers-like agitation
Read a chat with the band and listen to the album below.
Noisey: Is the opening track “No Grapes” in reference to ecological disaster or really poor quality wine?
Dave: It’s mainly about consciously honouring your mistakes with the hope that by doing this they don't unconsciously torment yourself. I think I got the title and main lyric from Leonard Cohen’s “Diamonds in the Mine” and Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard it Through the Grapevine”. That part of the song as I put it to the others when we wrote it, is about not 'chatting shit', anti-gossip sort of thing, be good to each other. As for wine, mine's the cheapest bottle of Merlot on the shelf.
The video for “Tanned” has both skating and collapsing power plants. It’s like a 80s California thrash band. The only thing missing is the Reagan imagery. Are the punks in Sheffield more into politics, skating or pints?
Bry: Our friend Steve made the video as a total surprise. He sent it and we all thought it was cool. The Sheffield punk scene is pretty diverse. There are bands that touch on politics but Sievehead specifically isn't a political band. I'd say the majority of us Sheffield lot like a sup though. The city is renowned for its real ale pubs, and the beer here is great. As for skateboarding, a few of the punks skate but not many. Us three skate together a lot and met through skateboarding, so it's an important part of our lives and the band. A few of our tunes have featured on recent skate edits online which is amazing to us. We grew up checking out bands that we heard on skate videos, so it's sick to think younger skaters/punks are getting into our band through hearing our songs on skate videos.
How important has the Lughole been to the development of the band? Do you have a favourite gig that you played there?
Bry: Since we opened in January 2014, the Lughole has played a big part in the development of punk in Sheffield in general. It's important to have a centre point for the scene to work out of. Prior to the Lughole the scene got a bit fragmented (however still functioned). Touring bands wouldn’t come through as much and a lot more effort had to be put into putting on gigs. Now, people will come check a show out without even hearing the band, just because they know it's gonna be a good crack. We're 100% Kids of the Lughole! Every gig we've played here has been amazing. A personal favourite was our 7" release. It was packed to the rafters, everyone was going ape shit and we covered “Minor Threat” with our mate Marc from Dry Heaves on vocals.
There seems to have been a resurgence in the quality of UK punk in the last few years.
Bry: Punk and hardcore in the UK has definitely been on a high and it doesn't seem to be letting up either. In Yorkshire alone we've got; DIE, Perspex Flesh, Bad Manifest, No Form, Eagulls, Detergents, Skiplickers, Dry Heaves, The Repossessed all playing gigs in UK and overseas frequently. Bands finally seem to be getting the recognition they deserve outside the UK. Another thing that is amazing at the minute in UK is the quality of venues. Bands are coming over here on tour and playing mostly DIY, collectively run spaces and only having to play one or two bars/pubs. With London finally getting it together with their space, we're going to have a network of collectives around the country that can work together to ensure touring bands have the best experience on tour here as possible.
One publication said that you could go either way: “diving headfirst into cult stardom or streamlining towards huge festival stages. Choice is theirs”. Diving headfirst into cult stardom sounds scary.
Joe: As complimentary as that statement is I don't think we will be sitting down any time soon to decide whether we want to share a stage with Bono or instead split up and see how high we can push our release prices on Discogs. At the end of the day we just make music because we enjoy doing it and an aspect of that enjoyment comes from doing it without having any further expectations beyond that.