matilda shakes live at the leadmill
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Tonight’s gig was in the small room at The Leadmill, but it came with a huge amount of energy.

“Cruz” took to the stage for their first time playing The Leadmill. It won’t be their last.

Tearing in to their set, they breezed through an impressive collection of originals including new release “California”. The guitar line initially rings a bell that is perhaps too close to the indie icons they’re inspired by, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing…but this particular bell does ring pretty loudly. Three minutes later however, and I found myself singing along to a strikingly memorable chorus hook.

All gravy so far.

A particular personal highlight was “Disco Colour Beams” – a foot-stomping, fist-pumper featuring an especially ear-catching drum break from Ethan (and his fabulous moustache) which was tighter than a GP’s waiting list and louder than a patient trying to get an appointment.

One of the first things that catches the eye is just how good looking a band these lads are. This is a band who definitely have “the look”. Already having been confirmed for Sheffield’s iconic Mosfest all dayer, it looks like Cruz have a big future ahead of them.

Next up, Sam Scherdel exploded onto the stage like a meteor shower of passion, launching into his new single “Balloon” like his very life depended on it. Instantly, the room was set alight and you could see heads begin to bop from corner to corner.

Weaving through Sam’s catalogue, the band perfectly dictated the tempo for the next 45 minutes. The rush of “Brave Mistake” and the emphatically heart-wrenching “The Answer” sat snugly alongside the tender ballad of “Boy Who Fell To Earth”…threaded together like silk and cotton, all intricate and smooth.

A rousing cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” saw pretty much the entire crowd holding their phone lights up in unison, lighting up the room just enough to see hordes of smiling faces beaming up at the South Yorkshire Springsteen, keenly waiting for what came next.

Another huge tick in the box marked “Sam Scherdel”.

The night was capped by the locally infamous Matilda Shakes, and by now the room was full to the brim. Everyone was in top spirits and within seconds of the first song scorching in, it was plain to see why these guys have got the reputation they have.

The band read the room like the back of a bottle of Heineken, flitting in and out of their popular stock of originals, whilst dashing in a couple of impeccably chosen covers.

When they erupted in to a version of “Dakota” followed by “Seven Nation Army”, the pressure levels in the room absolutely boiled over! The Leadmill became awash with beer, cider and who knows what else, as a choice selection of animals broke out in to a very frenetic (but very friendly) pit.

For the finale, Hallam encouraged everyone to get forward and that is exactly what they did…with seemingly half of the crowd joining in with the ecstatic pushing and shoving. When they’d finished, chants of “Shakes Shakes Shakes” rang out for what seemed like an age, and rightly so.

All in all, a terrific night of live music in a terrific venue.

One thing is for sure…we can’t afford to lose The Leadmill.

matilda shakes live at the leadmill
visit rgm