Get Together 2024, Kelham Island, Sheffield, UK, May 18, 2024 | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, June 25th, 2024  

Sailor Honeymoon

Sailor Honeymoon, Bloodworm, Hooton Tennis Club, Heartworms, The Bug Club

Get Together 2024, Kelham Island, Sheffield, UK, May 18, 2024,

May 22, 2024 Photography by Ian Weston (lead photo) Web Exclusive
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Having only opened its doors for the first time in the summer of 2021 at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Get Together has grown from those humble beginnings into one of the most established all day events on the UK festival calendar. Having spent its first two years in the grounds of Sheffield University, Get Together took the bold step of relocating in 2023 to the industrial surroundings of Kelham Island and hasn’t looked back since. As festival locations go, Kelham Island is up there with the most unconventional and unique of its kind anywhere, and it’s the quirky nature of those venues - this year’s event hosts stages in an antique emporium, a church, a working men’s club and a brewery among its number - that makes it stand out impressively from the crowd.

Situated on a man-made island that also boasts numerous pubs and bars (check out the Kelham Island Beer Mile if you get the chance), the Cutlery Works food hall, a flea market and museum around its historic radius. It’s easy to see why Get Together has sold out in advance for the second year in succession, and that’s before we even get onto the bill itself. One thing Get Together prides itself on is bringing together the best in both new and established artists from the UK and overseas. “All together, all the same”, is the festival’s motto, and the 2024 edition proved to be a joyous celebration of musical delights from an array of different genres.

The Bug Club (Photo by Adam Houghton)
The Bug Club (Photo by Adam Houghton)

With the sun beaming down and temperatures soaring, it would be rude not to sample some of the locally produced beverages in one of Kelham Island’s many beer gardens. But with a live schedule that’s full-on from the word “Go!”, Under the Radar are treated to a blistering set on the BBC Introducing Stage by local indiepop five-piece Shelley Byron, their winsome and at times melancholic songs reminiscent of C86 bands like The Popguns or The Wedding Present. It’s dark and moody but also quite comforting and like a full English breakfast sets us up for the rest of the day.

One band that’s caught the eye of Under the Radar in recent months are Nottingham three-piece Bloodworm, and their first major festival show outside of their hometown brings a ravenous, healthy sized crowd with it to The Temple Of Fun stage, which is situated in an old church. Playing a set consisting of seven songs, all of which showcase different sides of the band and could easily be singles in their own right. There’s a new found confidence in the way singer/guitarist George Curtis engages with the crowd, bass player Chris Walker swirls and sways around the stage in his own world and drummer Euan Stevens pounds the skins as though his life depends on it. Previous comparisons to The Cure and The Smiths aren’t wide of the mark but there’s also a distinctive air about them that is unmistakeably that of Bloodworm. Which means before long we’ll be comparing other new bands to them. A triumphant mid-afternoon set.

Bloodworm (Photo by Ian Weston)
Bloodworm (Photo by Ian Weston)

Another band making significant headway right now are Sailor Honeymoon and for the second time in just over a week Under the Radar witnesses them slaying a UK festival audience, albeit in a very different context. Whereas the previous week’s show at Focus Wales was very industry heavy and probably the first time anyone in the UK got to see them, word spreads fast to the point The Temple Of Fun stage was packed to the rafters - literally. For the Seoul-based trio this venture to the UK has undoubtedly been a game changer, and when you have songs in your armoury like “Cockroach”, “Click Click” and opener “PMS Police” it’s easy to see why this band has already captured the hearts and minds of everyone fortunate enough to see them. By the end of closing number “FxxK Urself”, the stage has been fully invaded as band and audience members gleefully mosh together in perfect harmony. Expect to see these on bigger stages before the end of this year.

For The Bug Club its been a steady ascendancy to the status they find themselves at today. Recently signed to Sub Pop Records, former home of Nirvana and some of the most groundbreaking records in existence, its also something their relentless tour schedules and constant striving to get better at every opportunity merits. Another prime example of a true word-of-mouth success story, The Bug Club make good time rock and roll seem comparatively easy, such is the way they energetically and effortlessly deliver their wares. New songs sit proficiently with older ones such as breakthrough single “The Fixer” or the delectable “Rare Birds”. Unsurprisingly there’s very little room to move in front of the Get Together (Main) stage at Peddler’s Warehouse, with latecomers telling us its already one-in, one-out at the midpoint of the set.

Heartworms aka JoJo Orme may have cancelled her set at Get Together last time around, but this year she isn’t just making up for last time. She’s taking the festival’s musical programme to another stratospheric level altogether. Although monitor issues ensure the soundcheck takes slightly longer than anticipated, her set is well worth the wait and the Antiques Emporium soon fills up to full capacity. Playing a set consisting almost entirely of new material actually proves to be a smart move for Heartworms, as the clamouring intensity of her gothic-tinged post-punk reaches fever pitch until the familiar strains of early single “Retributions Of An Awful Life” bring her dramatic set to a close.

Sailor Honeymoon (Photo by Ian Weston)
Sailor Honeymoon (Photo by Ian Weston)

Well-documented logistical and transport issues may have hampered PREGOBLIN somewhat, but for Alex Sebley and troubadours their appearance is greeted favourably by those out front. Of course, one of the difficulties with being in an ever-changing, multi-faceted line-up means the setlists aren’t always likely to include songs people want to hear the most, and while “These Hands” will always be a vote winner they’re held back somewhat by the current live set up making it difficult to replicate some of the dancier, electronics-based numbers in this kind of setting.

One band that has no difficulty replicating both old and new material are Hooton Tennis Club, making their first live appearance in Sheffield for the best part of a decade. Having gone on indefinite hiatus shortly after the release of 2016’s criminally underrated second album Big Box Of Chocolates barring the “Monsoonal Runoff/People Want People Who Want People” single release four years ago, their return to live stages earlier this year has been an unmitigated success by all accounts. So, it shouldn’t come as any surprise to find they’re rapturous reception as returning heroes when taking to the stage at Get Together. While the majority of their set is taken from Big Box Of Chocolates and its predecessor, 2015’s Highest Point In Cliff Town, it’s quite refreshing to hear them play four new songs this evening. The first of which entitled “Born, Died” slips succinctly in between golden oldies “Meet Me At The Molly Bench” and “Barlow Terrace” like they’ve never been away. The other three, listed on the setlist as “Idea 4 Failure”, “All That I…” and “Riding On” suggest the next record (and we’re assuming one’s on the way soon) might be an upbeat affair which befits the congenial spirit of most of Hooton Tennis Club’s material. Ending their set with three of their oldest and most popular tunes (“P.O.W.E.R.F.U.L.P.I.E.R.R.E.”, “Jasper” and “Always Coming Back 2 U”) might have been the most genius move of the festival as it provides a fitting - nee perfect - finale to a fantastic day of wonderful vibes and music.




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