Almost two years ago to the day Blaenavon sat backstage at the iconic Leadmill in Sheffield on their first major supporting slot. Back then they were opening for Dry The River in Leadmill’s small room, lead singer Ben Gregory had hair barely past his ears and they were enjoying the first tastes of life on the road, free from the shackles of education. Twenty four months on it’s a similar story, but on a much bigger scale.
Sandwiched between Night Café and Sundara Karma, the trio lurch into action with rattling old number ‘Hell Is My Head’ before quickly delving even deeper and dusting off 2013’s scratchy ‘Into The Night’. The strobes are out in full and crowdsurfers begin to fling themselves towards the gyrating trio onstage. At their best they’re more feral than ever in ‘My Bark Is Your Bite’ but give them the chance and they’ll still play about, bassist Frank Wright making the most of ‘Orthodox Man’s bouncy bass line to stride back and forth throwing pisstake poses. The latest single is harking for the bigger stages and will only continue blossoming come festival season if crowds continue to lap it up the way the Sheffield folk do, opting for their staple chant of “Yorkshire, Yorkshire” until Ben interrupts, “That happened in Leeds the other day and I thought they were saying “you’re shit!”
Another old track ‘Prague’ continues to keep its place firmly in the band’s plans as they close the show with it, creating their own bit of hysteria, building up to a surging finale reminiscent of Foals’ ‘Two Steps Twice’. It may only be a stepping stone for Blaenavon who’ll be in Europe with Two Door Cinema Club in a few days time before releasing their debut album, but they’ve won over Sheffield’s faithful once more, even if they still haven’t grasped the accents.