To celebrate their 10th birthday, music website Drowned in Sound put on a series of events around the country. In Sheffield they put on a follow up to last year's successful Rollerpalooza. The concept of Rollerpalooza is a bizarre one, yet an unbelievably fun one. It takes place in a skate rink and you basically skate, drink, buy slushies/chips and watch bands until three in the morning. Needless to say I was quite excited for this one, especially when one of my favourite live band of recent times, Pulled Apart By Horses, and a band I've wanted to see for years, No Age, were added to the line-up.
I unfortunately missed the two opening bands, Liars Beware and Hey Sholay! due to pre-drinking across the road, queuing ages to get in/get skates and then learning to skate (I've never done it before ya see). The third band on however was Male Bonding who were quite an inspired choice, their fun, noisy punk songs being perfect to skate to. The sound was pretty great for Male Bonding as well considering the size and set-up of the place they were playing.
"Who's fallen over?" asks Tom Hudson, lead singer of Pulled Apart By Horses, to a show of hands. "Me too," he replies, "and I haven't even put skates on yet." Fuelled largely by alcohol, Pulled Apart By Horses put on an incredibly energetic and furious set. The band were constantly throwing themselves around the stage and at the crowd. I've seen this band a bunch of times and, even with a couple of technological problems, this evening is easily the best I've ever seen them. It wasn't long until this energy transposed on to the audience with people moshing and crowd surfing on, ahem, skates. Their set consisted entirely of songs off the album but they still managed to cram in all the fan favourites like Meat Ballooon and The Crapsons. They're also currently opening their sets with E=MC Hammer which works brilliantly, getting them off to a massive start. A fantastic set.
No Age had the difficult feat of coming on at two in the morning when everyone was shattered from roller skating all night. No Age's set was also the moment when the size and ambience of the venue got the better of the mixing desk as the sound was quite muddy for a lot of their set. However, No Age more than made up for it with some noisy, experimental goodness. They played a large chunk of stuff off new album Everything in Between and just about everything else was off their last album, Nouns. With the induction of a third live member on electronics, No Age seem to have found the only way to make their shows even noisier. However at the same time, their performance had an almost psychedelic trance like feel to it. It's been a long wait for me to see No Age but it was worth every moment.