Matilda Shakes Live at Leadmill


Walking into Leadmill on Saturday 9th March 2024, it was packed out for a hometown sellout.

Sheffield-based ‘Matilda Shakes’ described the show as a “dream come true” to play the iconic Leadmill Main Stage.

It was good to see many down for the support acts, Marples and The Heavy Souls, who brought a good build-up to the main event.

The lads all walked on full of energy and ready to go, with the crowd cheering them on.

It wasn’t the easiest of starts, as tech issues meant restarting the first song, through no fault of the band, they kept the crowd going and were encouraged by them shouting “Shakes, Shakes, Shakes”.

Tech issues resolved, the guitar riff to “Shakedown” began, and it wasn’t long before the first beer was thrown across the crowd in excitement.

I had noticed a fair few down the front, singing along and cheering, not just for the music, but for the bands’ brilliant stage presence, particularly from Bassist Spen Yeardley and Synth player Josh Whitehurst.

These guys love jumping around, this carried on throughout the set, but it just hyped the crowd up even more.

There was the perfect balance of talking to the crowd and on-stage antics, ultimately, you could tell they were having the time of their lives.

Neon Haze is the band’s newest release and it went down a storm, with fans singing along and cheers towards the end.

Other tunes from the band like ‘Fairground’ and ‘Fever Dream’ also went down a storm, which even initiated crowd surfers and mosh pits.

To my surprise, there were a couple of covers I wasn’t expecting, a rockier version of Kasabian’s ‘Club Foot’ kicked in, sending the crowd wild, to which frontman James Hallam bravely ventured into the crowd to sing it with the fans.

The other cover, which really shouldn’t have worked, but it did, was a rockier version of ‘Come Together’ by The Beatles, Jack Poulson’s guitar riffs brought the cover to life.

Not only this, but the band welcomed back Heavy Souls frontman Clarke Vaughan up to join James on vocals and both of them sounded brilliant together.

The band bowed out after ‘Come Together’, but it was blindingly obvious that an encore was due, as they hadn’t done their hits ‘Adrenaline’ or ‘Fast Lane’.

It was met with chants of ‘one more song’ from the crowd, with the band walking back on to a fantastic reception.

Adrenaline kicked in, which appeared to be the best-received song of the night, with the crowd singing back most, if not all of the words to the band, Joel Haddon’s energy on the drums was particularly evident on this occasion.

They treated us to a new one ‘Frankie’ which also got a good reception.

The band ended on a high, with ‘Fast Lane’ being the final song, to which Josh Whitehurst went out into the crowd and moshed with the fans, before joining the band back on stage for the finale.

With the bows and the cheering, you can see how much this meant to the band and how much their fans loved them.

Overall a fantastic performance, they worked the crowd, brought the energy and gave it their all.