Love Music Hate Racism at The Crescent

A cold Thursday night saw the Love Music Hate Racism gig at The Crescent Community Venue. The cold night was warmed up by supporters: A Joker Amongst Thieves and Joe Solo. The night was finished off by headliners, Crossfire Eagles. I’d never been down to The Crescent before and was unsure as I first walked in; but any doubt was quickly blown away by the warm atmosphere of the venue and the heart of the performing artists. One after another they delivered music gems in a refreshing variety of styles.

By Mark Wright

On Thursday night The Crescent Community Venue hosted Love Music Hate Racism, an evening of music for a good cause. The walls of the venue were plastered with posters and there were pockets of people wearing official printed T-shirts proclaiming their loyalty to the cause.

The first act to perform at the Love Music Hate Racism gig were Barnsley punk and hard rock group, A Joker Amongst Thieves who blended pounding bass and drums with the energy of alternative rock to ear-splitting, foot stomping perfection. The four bandmates showed clear chemistry and comradeship, which added to the clear fun they were having up on stage, only matched by the fun those on the dancefloor were having. One highlight was the original song Stomp on My Heart which showed most clearly the classic and hard rock influences on this band. In addition, the song Zombie showed the band’s versatility in blending gothic lyrics with fist-pumping overdriven guitars.

A Joker Amongst Thieves were followed by the aptly named Joe Solo, a performer who smacked of Billy Bragg’s “one man and his guitar” charm. Joe Solo brought the tempo and noise down to a more thoughtful and empathetic level, focussing on politically charged blue-collar ballads. The politics continued with Solo’s regular pithy quips about the state of modern Britain which sent chuckles around the audience. His song Solidarity endearingly blended notions of togetherness and unity with the singer’s own experiences playing Sunday league football.

The night’s headliners were young Sheffield indie rockers, Crossfire Eagles. At first this group immediately smacked of the infectious charm of the likes of The Kooks or the Pigeon Detectives, and while the charm never left, the band showed they were much more flexible than simply sticking to their indie rock roots. This flexibility was best shown by their cover of The Courteeners’ Not Nineteen Forever, a song which never fails to get a crowd going in its original form but certainly did not fail when Crossfire Eagles made the song their own by injecting it with boisterous punk energy. The band themselves were clearly tight and well drilled, with the guitarist and frontman showing off their matching white Stratocaster and Telecaster respectively, and the engine of the band coming from their clearly skilled drummer and bassist.

To sum up, this event was well worth attending, not just for the good cause but also for the top-class music on show, and when events such as this come around again, I urge any readers to attend. Additionally, whether it’s Love Music Hate Racism or not, a trip to The Crescent should be made for any event.