Friday at Tramlines: InRansom // Miilk // Allusondrugs @ The Frog and Parrot, Sheffield
July 23, 2016
At 5pm the venue is already filling, a capacity of no more than one hundred at a push and the first band are setting up. The Frog and Parrot, located on Division Street, is an alternative to your standard pub, offering student vibes and trendy rustic food in a quad-like outdoors area.
The first band are a two-piece called InRansom. As they take to the bass and drums it would be easy to compare them to Royal Blood, and that wouldn’t be a million miles away from the truth, but what came across more was a raw, stripped down version of Bleach era Nirvana, heavily reliant on their explosive riffs and fast paced lyrical delivery. They left little space for their much deserved applause, for in a few seconds of distortion and a quick count in “1-2-3-4” they flew into their next song.
Their stage presence was impressive considering there are only two of them, and one of them
had to sit down the entire time, but the drummer made up for it with his audience interaction. He was pretty funny, garnering a few laughs from the crowd, humbly but wrongly knocking his own vocal performance. Their set ended with the bassist/ frontman taking a cymbal into the audience and throwing his bass on the floor in a hell fire ending of fuzz and distortion. All round a good set with songs to look out for such as ‘Hell Fire’, ‘Robot Man’ and ‘This is Deadpool’.
The second band to play were Miilk, a raw three-piece utilising thrashing guitar and 90’s fashion sense. Their drummer had the big beats down to a T, bouncing between kick and snare and giving their sound an anthemic feeling reminiscent of ‘The Seeker’ by The Who. The frontman’s vocal performance had a distinct twang of all the quintessential Brit-pop icons, and all the while he was adorned with a deerstalker. Class.
They were billed as “special guests” and Allusondrugs proved they were deserving of the tag. For me they could as well have been headlining and no one would have left knowing any different. In small venues like this, they really come into their own and they are not afraid to mingle with the crowd. The guitars of Andrey and Damian are brazen, distortion fuelled, warping in unison setting a fire around the frontman Jason. The bass is solid, unfaltering helping to dictate the rhythm and dynamic in a fluid way alongside the versatile, crashing drums.
Their style alters throughout depending on the songs. Their set flows through grunge, doom, psychedelic and shoegaze, all bound together by anthemic lyrics. All the while they are fronted by an alluring, more handsome, ambiguous Iggy Pop-type figure – shirtless, covered in beer and sweat. The fuzz and phaser effect in the melody of the guitars dancing around the room. Both guitarists share lead and rhythm duties, as versatile as they are energetic. The gravel in the frontman’s screams have a façade of aggression but there is love and a longing for unity hidden in what he sings and how he sings it.
Later into the set and the venue can barely hold the energy of this band. The crowd spilled out into the street from through the open door. People ended up crowd surfing and dancing, perhaps even falling into the band’s equipment. I can honestly say I’d never seen that happen in a pub before but that is the consequence of how welcoming and willing this band are to merge with their audience. The energy of Allusondrugs could be considered a barrage but that is too harsh a word. If you are in the audience, you become part of the barrage in the climax of sweat, beer and most of all, music.
This band are in it for the right reasons, they are champions of artistic liberty and modesty. Several anthems from their set include ‘Sunset Yellow’, ‘Magic College’, ‘Nervous’ and ‘Good People’.
Tramlines Festival continues over the weekend. More info here.