Get Together 2023, Kelham Island, Sheffield, UK, May 20, 2023 | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, February 21st, 2024  

Pale Blue Eyes

Mickey Callisto, Do Nothing, Treeboy & Arc, Pale Blue Eyes

Get Together 2023, Kelham Island, Sheffield, UK, May 20, 2023,

May 24, 2023 Photography by Adam Houghton Web Exclusive
Bookmark and Share


​Having only opened its doors for the first time in August 2021, Sheffield’s Get Together has quickly become one of the UK’s main one-day events on the festival calendar. Originally conceived as a two-day weekend event and held in the grounds of Sheffield University, past Get Togethers have seen the likes of Black Honey, Dream Wife and Confidence Man grace its stages. However, this year the team behind the event - Sheffield based promoters Somewhere and the Leeds based Futuresound group - moved the 2023 edition to the city’s redeveloped Kelham Island district which is worth a visit in its own right irrespective of any music festival. Once the epicentre of Sheffield’s industrial heartland, many of the buildings that were previously mills, factories and workshops now play host to shopping arcades, microbreweries, art spaces and live music venues. Indeed, for a festival such as Get Together, it provides a scenic and utterly mesmerising collection of outlets that makes for a fascinating aside from the day’s musical delights. Whether that be the Kelham Island Flea Market, Yellow Arch Studios which acts as the festival’s main hub while also boasting an antiques market in between its two live music stages, or the universally acclaimed Cutlery Works which was voted the best UK food hall in 2022. Kelham Island has it all, and remarkably everything is situated within a five minutes walking distance from one another, including its seven live music venues which is where Under the Radar begins its sojourn.

Sunderland born singer/songwriter Mickey Callisto has been one of the hottest tips on the UK circuit since last year’s festival season, and its easy to see why as he has the entire audience of Peddlar’s Warehouse in the palm of his hands within seconds of his opening number. A born entertainer, his charismatic one man show draws comparisons with Freddie Mercury, Holly Johnson and even Confidence Man for delivery. While the songs themselves are insanely catchy and as a result, bonafide winners too. Such as last year’s breakthrough single “Destructive Love”, which finds the front row and beyond singing the words back at Callisto to his utter delight (and surprise) while his latest release “Homospace” - which Callisto introduces as being a song about an imaginary gay nightclub in outer space - is rapturously received by all and sundry in the now near-full to capacity warehouse. It isn’t the last time we’ll see Mickey Callisto today and his show understandably becomes the most talked about set of the entire festival.

Mickey Callisto
Mickey Callisto

Following Mickey Callisto isn’t the easiest venture for any artist, but Manchester-based poet, lyricist and musician Antony Szmierek gives it his best shot and pulls it off with impeccable style and panache. Playing with a three-piece band, his mostly personal and introspective rhymes draw comparisons with the likes of Mike Skinner and it’s easy to see why he’s currently being lauded as one of Manchester’s brightest new talents. At the end, Szmierek even finds time to welcome Mickey Callisto back on stage for a glorious cover of the Sugababes’ “Overload”, which goes down an absolute storm.

Throughout the day there’s secret band and DJ sets in the various bars and spaces that make up Kelham Island, and while some of these are so tiny they result in inevitable queues, the beautiful sunshine and incredible scenery that surrounds the area makes the wait a damn sight more pleasant. London’s Pushpin are one band definitely worth the wait as Under the Radar queues patiently for the set on the Heist Stage, which is situated in the backroom of a brewery meaning the band end up playing in front of a large cask of fermenting beer. Musically as diverse as they come, Pushpin’s repertoire veers from introspective lo-fi pop to manic, danceable post-punk then semi-classical countrified folk rock. It’s this seemingly natural ability to flit between genres with such consummate ease that makes them an enticing prospect for the future.

Antony Sziemerek
Antony Szmierek

Over in the Yellow Arch Studios Antiques Emporium, Leeds five-piece Treeboy & Arc are another aural delight whose captive draw finds people dancing outside the venue and listening in through any nook and cranny they can before finding a space as someone leaves, probably for air. Although only drafted in as eleventh hour replacements after Heartworms pulled out, Treeboy & Arc deliver another incessantly enjoyable set to enhance their rapidly growing reputations.

Another currently on a roll are Nottingham’s Do Nothing who seem to have used their time away from the spotlight recording forthcoming debut album Snake Sideways as an opportunity to regroup and become one of the most ferociously unmissable live acts on the circuit. Now bolstered to a five-piece for live shows with the addition of Daudi Matsiko on guitar and keyboards, Do Nothing are an insatiable force to be reckoned with as singer Chris Bailey delivers his words to an enthusiastic crowd as the rest of his bandmates back him impeccably. Older songs like “Glueland” and “Contraband” take on a new lease of life while the newer material such as “Amoeba” and the title track can only make the anticipation for Snake Sideways’ arrival that little bit more potent.

Having so many clashes is always the sign of a well-programmed festival and Get Together 2023 is no different. Vying for headline status alongside official bill-toppers Friendly Fires are Panic Shack and Sister Wives, but o this occasion Under the Radar chooses Pale Blue Eyes and it only takes the first few bars of opener “Globe” for us to realise we’ve definitely made the right decision here. Playing on the tiny stage of Neepsend Social Club, which is exactly what it says on the tin. Pale Blue Eyes are nothing short of a revelation. Now expanded to a four-piece with the addition of a full-time keyboard player, their music transcends genres in a similar way to bands like Broadcast, Stereolab or Recurring period Spacemen 3. Matt and Lucy Board’s vocal harmonies provide a sensual vantage point between the (mainly) motorik musical backbeat which accompanies them. Recent single “Takes Me Over” hints at what’s to come next, but its when they close on live favourites “Chelsea” and “Dr Pong” that Pale Blue Eyes really come into their own.

Pale Blue Eyes
Pale Blue Eyes

With midnight fast approaching, Get Together isn’t ready to wind down yet and its late night offerings of Big Wett and Mickey Callisto (yes, him again) in the Yellow Arch Studios Antiques Emporium both prove to be popular choices with those who’ve stayed the duration. While the former could perhaps be described as Australia’s answer to Peaches; songs like “Number 1 Pussy” and “King Dick” go down a treat with those gyrating on the dancefloor out front, it’s left to Micky Castillo to bookend our festival with another glorious run through the same set from earlier culminating in an impromptu take on “I Want To Break Free” after the house DJ opens his set with the Queen classic at the end of Callisto’s.

Big Wett
Big Wett

Having sold out this year’s event, the organisers of Get Together can bask in having created arguably their finest one yet, and while 2024 is a long way away, we’re already dreaming of what next year’s festival has in store.

Mickey Callisto
Mickey Callisto




Comments

Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published

URL

Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.