Following a short series of delays, the occupants of Bodega’s close-quarters grew restless for action. The mood settled after a belated but worthy set from support band Scuttlers, as fans ran the gauntlet of refilling plastic cups before charging back to their imaginary resting places on the dancefloor and resuming their longing stares at the stage.
The anticipation, alongside various other intoxications, was enough to make one’s poor soul vomit, summoning a horde of security armed with anti-bacterial wipes; a prophetic sign of the chaos to come.
With little introduction, Sheafs manifest atop Bodega’s platform and open in the manner of newly released debut EP Vox Pop: with Thinking Out Loud. Despite the sea of smiles and raised fists, the opener arouses a tepid reaction relative to the rest of tonight’s performance but this opens Sheafs up to some coherent analysis.
When you’re not focusing on the inscrutable body fluid cocktail on your clothes, or simply trying to stay upright, the quintet has no trouble convincing anyone why they’re one of the most in-demand bands in the indie scene. Punk never really died in the sense that disco did but it’s been a short while since we’ve heard the screams of a frustrated generation under the garb of something as refreshing as Sheafs. The messages are poignant, never pandering, the instrumentation is tight and noticeably rich in tone, and vocalist Lawrence Feenstra is the perfect level of mania mixed maturity to front the motley crew.
Let it be known that when Sheafs headlines, Feenstra is in charge. Clearly disappointed with our previous display, he gestures us backwards commanding: “I wanna see a fucking mosh pit right there so back up!” and so we did. For the remainder of the night, as Sheafs blasted through their reasonably limited discography (although let me assure you, they’re all bangers), Nottingham was on its worst behaviour to the joy of our maladjusted guests. The pit became a wrathful tidal wave, Feenstra was leaping off the tallest things he could find and respite was only given when Feenstra shared a beer with a fan and warmly confessed: “you have no idea how much this means to us, Nottingham.” Maybe not, but I think we could safely assure him that it was more than mutual.
Words: Alex Mace