Hailing from the depths of ‘God’s Own County’, the five-piece alternative indie band, Menace Beach, took to the intimate, widely adored venue of Hare & Hounds on Thursday night to celebrate their second studio album, ‘Lemon Memory’.

The night kicked off with an indie grunge vibe thrown out by the four piece that is Grain Death. Sitting in the downstairs pub, they just looked like a bunch of indie kids eagerly waiting for the doors to open. Boy, was that wrong. Whilst the vocals were a bit chaotic and disorganised, Grain Death’s potential was evident. The energy and excitement they created was undeniable; it crashed right into the faces of an overflowing crowd.

Menace Beach opened with ‘Give Blood’, an adored track from their recent album ‘Lemon Memory’, instantly delving into an idiosyncratic fuzzy ‘n’ funky 45-minute set. They wasted no time getting the crowd involved, taking regular breaks in between songs to chat about the hangovers they’ve had on tour. Three days in? What do you expect from a bunch of young musicians, wouldn’t you do the same

Lead singer, Ryan Needham, sparked up a discussion between the band and the crowd about Black Sabbath – can you believe he’s not into Black Sabbath? Nope, neither could his band mates, ribbing and joshing around with him about his lack of Sabbath knowledge. This opened up to the promise of a ‘Paranoid’ cover later on… it didn’t happen.

There was bumps along the way, loops that appeared to go on one or two times too many, but nothing that anyone could scrutinise them for. If anything it made it more authentic. They made the gig intimate, like you were watching your oldest friends play in that dingy club you love so much. The repetitive, catchy riffs and complimentary vocals from Ryan and Liza, meant you couldn’t help but cavort. Or at least nod your head and twitch your leg.

They bounced between ‘Lemon Memory’, ‘Ratworld’ and even dabbled into some of their early EP’s. ‘Tastes Like Medicine’ had a special alteration. The crowd separated down the middle and the sound guy shuffled through holding a caterpillar cake for their guitarist, Nick Chantler. Getting caught up in the birthday haze, Chantler sets the cake down on the amp provoking band banter between Ryan and Nick: “don’t put it on there, it’ll melt into the amp! Oh, actually, it might make it sound better”.

The night ended with another favoured track from ‘Lemon Memory’ – Can’t Get a Haircut’ – which left the crowd satisfied, yet eager to hang around, have a chat with the band and maybe purchase some cranky hand printed posters.

About The Author

Harriet Willis

Media and Communication student based in Birmingham, absolutely adore the Sheffield music scene and most things indie/alternative and a bit of grime/hip-hop. Radio presenter of Indie Cassette on Scratch Radio. Twitter: @harrietmwillis