Bayonet have good cause to be in a celebratory mood tonight as they take to the stage at the Leadmill in Sheffield. Having bounced around the Sheffield scene playing many a venue and taking their infectious blend of indie pop on the road to other lucky towns and cities, they’re playing a sold out gig in the iconic Leadmill in their home town. They may have played bigger, often in the role of support act, but this one feels special as they headline the evening, ably supported by the talented singer songwriter and sometime Ratells member Ashley Holland, and quirky female sextet The Seamonsters.
Ashley has a great pop rock voice and a charming, engaging style, whilst The Seamonsters are whimsical, endearing and cool.
Vince, Lewis, Danny and Sam may be at heart a group of local lads who are good friends and make memorable music, but as Bayonet there’s something totally engaging and honest which makes them a cracking live act. They arrive to a triumphant response from the sweaty packed in crowd and are able to play songs which are exciting and new to the wider audience, but have some huge appeal to their hardcore fans who know every word. It’s not difficult to find yourself picking up the incredibly catchy refrains and on the singles like opener “Weekend”, “Everything” and encore track “Heart Attack”, resistance is futile.
Having two great lead vocalists is an interesting quirk with Lewis and Vince sharing duties. Vince is the raspier, rawer of the two voices, except for tonight where poor Lewis is suffering with a cold, something Vince points out ahead of “Give it to Me”, asking the crowd to be attentive and give him some love. Lewis usually brings the more stereotypically Sheffield-indie style vocal, all brilliant flat vowels and sweetness. Sam is impressive on drums and Danny effortlessly manipulates even the bendiest of basslines.
Their sound is vibrant, retro and modern, bringing indie sensibilities to pop anthems in a way not many bands can. Comparisons with The 1975 are obvious (and welcomed – see my coming interview!) and deserved as they sparkle their way through ten jangly hits-in-waiting with room for cool segues in to The Police (“Just Want You” slides effortlessly into “Every Breath You Take”), extra guitars (Sam’s brother Jack jumps up to help out on a couple towards the end) and a leave-them-wanting-more finale of latest track “Heart Attack”.
I’ve described the band before as being an “indie band designed for posters on teenage girl’s bedroom walls [playing] dreamy indie pop tunes” and having seen them live on a few occasions now and interviewed them ahead of this gig, I can say that whilst it is in fact 100% true and shouldn’t be viewed as a negative, the lads are also infectiously likeable, down-to-earth, hardworking musicians who deserve every success in the future. Vince asks at the start if everyone’s having a good time and planning on carrying on into the night at the Leadmill’s aftershow indie disco. He announces that he’s definitely going to be there and getting wrecked and the band have certainly earned it!
• It’s Cool
• Just Want You / Every Breath You Take
• 3 Months
• Can’t Be Without You
• Give to Me
• Call Me When it’s Over
• Heart Attack