Winter Rocks – Steel City Rock Fest The Corporation, Sheffield

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Saturday 2nd December

Part Two

Review and photographs by Linda McDermott

With four great bands giving us an amazing start to the weekend yesterday, it’s now day two with another great lineup.

This intimate festival is a rock music haven, and today it features ten diverse bands that cater to a spectrum of tastes. The lucky audience was going to be treated to a musical journey spanning all rock genres from glam rock, metal, country, heavy rock, rock and roll, death metal, and even a touch of punk rock, ensuring there was something for everyone and something to discover.

Todays Bands

The Bites – acoustic set

Hell’s Addiction – acoustic set




Molly Karloff

Tom Killner

Hell’s Ditch

Continental Lovers

The Bites

Black Spiders

It was an early start for those of us who had the good sense to buy VIP tickets, 12.30 pm to be precise. This meant that we were treated to free shots and two acoustic sets, firstly from The Bites, who delivered a great set and gave us a little taster of things to come when they played later that evening.

The second acoustic set came from the heavy rock band Hell’s Addiction, which was a two-piece consisting of Ben Sargent on lead vocals and Dan Weir on guitar and backing vocals. They did a fantastic set and went above and beyond by playing as Ben was struggling with a cold and coughing in between choruses and songs, so hats off to them for delivering an exceptional set.

With the doors open to the rest of the rock community at 2.30 pm and the first band on stage at 3pm, there was time to get a drink before the main event got underway.

The Bands

Lowdrive – Sheffield’s hard rock band Lowdrive got the proceedings underway with some great sleazy guitar riffs and songs from both their albums that get the foot tapping. Check out their albums ‘Roller’ and ‘Rise’, you may just discover your next favourite band.

LaVire – coming from Lincoln are a powerhouse of a band with two EPs out, ‘No Truth to Tell, parts 1 & 2’, this band is a cracker. With a sound that embraces a multitude of influences with melodies and harmonies to get you started, then add in an injection of Chloé’s ‘roar’ and the band creates an impressive sound. They are touring extensively all over the country so check them out if you like your rock music with some fire in its belly!

Moskito – They just blow me away with their infused mix of heavy rock music. They are one band that will make you sit up and notice them. With their swagger and attitude on stage, they take you on a journey through several rock genres in one set, creating a great buzz around the room. I love ‘Killing Joke’ with its nod to Marlyn Manson, its grungy raw and musically intricate. This band embrace all its member’s musical tastes and puts them in a melting pot to produce phenomenal tracks. I honestly don’t think there is another band like them out there at the moment. If you want a taster check out their album Bad Love//MixTape and the epic G.R.I.M EP. I for one will be seeing them again, why? Because they’re edgy!

Molly Karloff – This three-piece band were also a man down due to the bassist being in hospital but that didn’t deter them from the festival. Luckily for them and us, they managed to get a last-minute substitute in the shape of Adam Feasey who complimented the band. They are an alternative rock metal band, with, according to them ‘grooves for moves…’ I have to say, they don’t lie, they rocked Sheffield, playing a string of gritty tracks. If you can’t get enough of Molly Karloff look out for their debut album ‘Breaking Out’.

Tom Killner – Tom has another take on rock music and brings the venue some good old-fashioned southern rock and roll with a bluesy twang to it. Tom’s powerhouse vocals and guitar playing are exceptional and he intertwines his lyrics and the band’s musical talents perfectly. He’s got this laidback sound to him that makes you want to tap your foot and click your fingers and go along for the ride. Tom is a resounding hit with the crowd who are invested in the music.

Hell’s Ditch – Changing the music up a gear is the punk rockers Hell’s Ditch who have a great vibe about them. They were powerful in their delivery of their self-penned catchy songs and sang them with intent on engaging the crowd. I like this band; they have a spirited streak about them that is authentic and raw with tracks that hook you in, my favourite being ‘Vacant Heart’. They paid tribute to the legend that is Shane McGowan, who got a show of appreciation from everyone watching them by glasses being raised in the air.

The band have some new material which will be released next year so watch out for that.

Continental Lovers – I was looking forward to seeing The Continental Lovers again as they are just glam punk rock personified. They have the image and the music that embodies this genre of original punk rock that I love. From the first note I have a smile on my face and I’m singing along (as always some of the words are my own!) but I am captivated by the beat and the sound of these guys. Out of all the bands playing today, they are my ‘happy band’ and I found it very difficult to dance about and take photographs at the same time! If you want a new feel-good band to add to your playlists you need to give these guys a listen. They never disappoint, and I’m sure they have added to their fan base after this set which included some new songs that fit seamlessly into their repertoire. Go find them.

The Bites – From Los Angeles to Sheffield come The Bites, full of energy and bounce. Having opened up the day with a great acoustic set we were now ready to see the other side of this band. The Bites just radiate pure rock and roll as they arrive on stage sending out a message that they are here to give you an experience that you’ll be talking about for days to come. They played tracks from their ‘Squeeze’ album, ripping up the stage and striking a pose as they sang and played. The Bites are like smiling assassins who knew they had you in their clutches with their boisterous tracks and stage presence. They are touring at the moment so do yourself a favour, see them while they are playing in smaller venues because rest assured it won’t be that way for long.

Black Spiders – last but not least it was the climax of the weekend and what better way to finish two days of outstanding music than with the amazing Black Spiders? Playing their hometown, they never ever fail to entertain the masses. They sang their anthemic songs to a crowd who were ever so slightly inebriated, having lubricated their vocal cords over the past eight hours so they could sing along with them. Their music is infectious and timeless with riffs aplenty driving them through a set of phenomenal hard rock tracks taken from their four albums. Black Spiders have mastered the art of drawing listeners in, getting them to do what they want and making each performance memorable.

As the band says They came to The Corporation ‘ter roc’ and they did exactly what it says on the tin!

The Winter Rock Festival is a rock festival that embodies rock music’s diversity, showcasing a spectrum of rock genres that appeal to everyone there. Despite the chilly weather, the energy remained high in the venue as bands from across the country and further afield delivered powerful performances. The festival served as a testament to the importance of supporting bands as they play live to connect with new fans and share their music. It is also important to support those promotors who endeavour to put on such events, bringing live music to us is no mean feat and if not supported will disappear, and I for one don’t want that to happen.

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