Years ago, when I was very young (you know, pre-health and safety), there were these things called daredevils. At every medium-sized event upwards, there was motorbike riders jumping through hoops, or over cars, or loads of them making a sort of human towers. At the top, the a-list of daredevils was an American, Evel Knievel (I’m pretty sure that wasn’t his real name) and this American had his own toy, where you wound him up (the toy, not the man) and he went down his track and did a loop the loop. This Toy was just about the only thing I wanted at the time. I have this sort of memory (although it may be wrong) that his cape floated behind him as he went round the loop, but I may be wrong

Given the hints I’d dropped the excitement on Christmas Eve was almost unbearable, and then the day came, and of course I received a bike. A bike? A nice bike, and my Dad has spray painted it so it almost looked brand new, but a bike? I grew to love the bike, but I never forgot the Evil Kinevil Loop the loop wind-up toy.

Blessa – Pale

It’s a bit like that Christmas Eve waiting for the first ‘proper’ release by Sheffield band Blessa. The five piece have ripped up the traditional sound of Sheffield handbook (electronic/pulp/arctic monkeys) and instead make music that races towards Shoegaze, hints at Cocteau Twins, then veers over to the  gothy Cure era, then just, well, leftfield. One of our favourite records of last year was the Toy record, and this shares some of the same ground.

There’s just three precious little gems available to listen to right now, and they demonstrate a sort of beautiful tension between this wash of guitars and sound bursting to get out, with singer Liv’s voice, alternatively strong, then fragile, holding it all together. The most recent of these songs posted is the fabulous Pale, with the band now going into the studio to record this anticipated first official release.

Blessa – Unfurl

Things are really taking off for Blessa. The excitement for me is that this time there’s no bike, no doubt, no circling it in my Mother’s Freeman’s Catalogue just as a little hint, it’s just having to wait for Blessa to release it. And I can’t wait.

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