Review: Femur EP Release

by Ollie Haggart, Apr 13, 2018

Sheffield's Femur debuted their new EP at Plot 22 last Friday

A raucous Plot 22 was the scene for a pure grunge/punk party on Friday 6th April, as Sheffield four-piece Femur celebrated the release of their debut EP, ‘In Your Belly’. Supported by a myriad of friends, both on-and-off stage, this will be a show to remember for the upcoming self-proclaimed ‘spook-rock’ band.

The first support to take the stage were Abominable Soul, who lead straight into their set with upbeat garage tunes to get the early arrivers moving. More and more fans entered the tiny D.I.Y venue, enough to hold just over 100, with self-supplied drinks in hand.

Shortly after a hand-picked collection of psych-rock and grunge tunes played through the brief interval, Sheffield locals Black Mamba Fever tuned up for their set. A trademark humorous remark was made from lead singer and bassist, Louis Ashman, about singing a karaoke version of The Fall’s ‘Totally Wired’ as it rings through the venue.

This soon becomes a relevant statement as they burst out into an energetic punk setlist, with vocals not sounding dissimilar from those of Mark E Smith. Ashman’s stumbling into the crowd, falling to the ground and throwing beer was enough to create a riotous atmosphere, as his band set up the scene perfectly for the following Cannibal Animal.

 

The Hull post-punk/garage band, similarly to their show compatriots Femur, released an EP recently. The band enter to a cacophony of noise as all their effects pedals are activated and instruments are abused.

Luke Ellerington, the singer, hurls beer at his fans and vacantly tells them to “shut up”. Every opening bass or guitar riff elicits a mosh pit to open. The fast-paced drums and chugging guitar along with Ellerington’s shouted vocals create a bizarre groove amongst the dissonance. The crowd is truly gripped after this true punk number, with only Femur left to play.

“We are too heavy for the indie kids, and too light for the metal kids, so we came up with ‘spook-core’ as an answer to what kind of music we play”, says Ryan Gillvray, the Femur bassist. This was created drunkenly after the band wrote one of their hit songs ‘Spook’, which helped form their iconic sound – a middle ground between grunge and psych-rock.

The band has a D.I.Y, ‘make it up as you go along’ aura about them, as they explain how their songs are named mainly just to “tell the difference between all the new ones we have recorded”. It is surprising that Friday’s show was their very first in which they set up absolutely everything themselves, from moving sofas to a corner in which they could set up a projector on it, to setting up lighting and sound.

As the band took to the stage, the projector played Disney’s “The Skeleton Dance” on the wall behind them. The synchronous drum and bass beat from their latest single, and last track on their new EP, ‘Start Again’ kicked things off. Around 80 people crowded onto the tiny stage which they shared with Femur, with a large number singing the words back to them.

 

Heavy drum beats from Danny Cox and thumping bass lines from Ryan Gillvray were accompanied loudly by Felix Renshaw and Eddie Burks’ heavily effects-based guitars. “Me and Felix love using effects” Eddie tells us, “it’s 80% experimentation, 20% I really want that pedal; we love experimenting and making weird noises”.

The weird warbles and organ sounds crash through the speakers as the band lead into their breakthrough song ‘Spook’. The whole crowd is captivated, some dancing in groups and others singing along. The heavy chorus brings unity in the crowd as everyone in the venue begins to jump and crash into each other whilst screaming “No, you’re nothing to me” back to Felix.

The intimate, raucous show held in a tiny independent venue seemed the perfect kick-off to an EP cycle and all-round great punk show.

Femur's debut EP 'In Your Belly' is available now on Spotify

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