It wasn't the busiest night Sheffield has ever seen for Luke Temple's full band vehicle, Here We Go Magic, when it rolled into town. But it didn't need to be, this is the night, as the drummer announced at the end of the gig, 'Sheffield Wins!'.
Having made the trip over from Brooklyn, New York for Wireless Festival and a mini UK tour (taking in Paris on the way home), Luke and his band were on their first venture to the UK. They made their way to Sheffield's Harley, one of the few Sheffield venues at the moment which repeatedly brings exciting new bands and nurtures the local new talent.
Tonights support band is Sheffield's own Cats for Peru, I can't really say much about this 5 piece as they had the MOST annoying LCD sign distracting from the band for the entire gig (turn it off!). It took away from their baby guitar during 'Manifesto' and a new track they followed up with that sounded good but I missed the name due to the hypnotic glare of the sign. But I did temporarily ween myself off the sign to catch their closing number, apparently about Aerosmith! A decent local band but need a few more catchier tracks, they need to get rid of that damned sign!
Luckily the sign was gone by the time Here we Go Magic hit the stage. Luke Temple's voice is haunting and distinct enough to be his own but at times there were strains of David Byrne, Paul Simon and Davey MacManus from The Crimea. Fitting in better known tracks 'Fangela' and 'Tunnelvision', with equally good 'Only Pieces', with the lyric "What's the use in dying, dying, If I don't know when?", and one track early in the set that I missed the name of with the lyric "Mild fascination" (If anyone knows the song PLEASE tell me, it was my highlight of the set!). A word should be said about the band too, there was a great energy coming from drums, keys and the delightfully sexy female bass player (seriously, there's nothing sexier than a pretty spunky bass player, bar maybe Zooey Deschanel, but that's another story), and they massively enhanced what apparently was previously a solo show.
I'm not sure if Sheffield has the bright lights they expected and the crowd was as full as they expect back home, but those that were there were very appreciative. The drummer told the crowd 'you've brightened our night' and 'So far Sheffield wins', not a huge statement to make on their 3rd UK gig, but one we'll take all the same. The crowd spurred on by this demanded an encore, which they duly got, a tad disappointing after a procession of tracks with building guitar tracks and purring bass, they went for something electro pop which Antoine De Caunes may have introduced at the end of an episode of Eurotrash! I shouldn't complain though, for £4 sterling, we managed to see a great set from one of the best new performers in USA down at our local pub, keep it up Harley and Sheffield keeps on winning!