LIVE in Barnsley – 20th June

LIVE in Barnsley, the town’s first metropolitan free music festival that is now in to its third year, is set to take place again this summer on Saturday 20th June.

This year there are 14 venues and over 120 bands taking part.

This week the organisers announced the first batch of bands for this years festival and they all come highly recommended from BBC Introducing.

Man Can’t Fly, 4-piece alternative rock outfit from Bradford, literally exploded onto the music scene in 2013 with the release of their debut self-released single, “Don’t Waste my Time”.   Championed by BBC Introducing and achieved many plays on BBC Radio 1 daytime plus local and national television.  Drawing influence from artists such as Counting Crows, Elbow, Mumford & Sons and Coldplay, the band certainly fire up the heart and head with their emotive sounds and memorable hooks.


Post Radio 1 airplay has seen the band play at both Reading and Leeds Festival on the BBC Introducing stage and most recently played to an over 1,500-strong crowd at Bingley Live Music Festival. The band have since released their second self-release in the shape of their ‘Take Me Home EP’, out now on iTunes. The EP launch gig at the Cockpit in Leeds was a sell out.  They also played at a sold out Leeds Town Hall recently with The Dunwells.

Colour, are from Liverpool, Stoke and Rutland.  They describe themselves as a new Art Rock band and have been likened to indie favourites Foals. They create their own music and art from their studio on the Northwest Coast. Having been together since January 2013 they received airplay on BBC Introducing in August 2014 and later in December they were named BBC Introducing New Band of the Year 2014 from Stoke. They released their Debut EP ‘Strangers’ in January thisyear to a sold out Blade factory in Liverpool.  It’s the bands first visit to Barnsley and are looking forward playing here.

Lost In Paradise are a 5 piece Pop/Rock band from County Durham and have spent the last year writing, recording and playing across the UK. The band have supported bands such names as Don Broco, Mallory Knox, Arcane Roots and The Blackout.  Lost In Paradise have also recently been on UBeat TV on Sky and Virgin performing a stripped back version of their next single which will be released in April.

They are Connor Pattison – Vocals, Stephen Wilson – Bass/Vocals, Joseph Emery – Guitar, Andrew Littlewood – Guitar and Loui Sara – Drums.  The band list their interests as FIFA Pro, Pizza and chicken. Hmm nice.

The Sweetchunks Band come all the way from Southampton and comprise Stuart “Sweetchunks” Blakeledge: Banjo/Vocals, Ash Lines: Bass/Vocals, Charlie Brown: Percussion/Vocals, Mike Wiles: Guitar/Vocals.  They describe themselves as Steampunk themed Folk/Blues outfit, using funky Bass, Banjo, cajon and “Mike” to create “BBCMike” a fun and exciting new audio visual drinking experience.   They have supported acts including Hobo Jones and the Junkyard Dogs, Professor Elemental, Ferocious dog and The Beards.

The Sweetchunks Band have played many festivals across the UK including Bearded Theory (Derbyshire) and Beautiful days (Devon). Which is where Scott Doonican of local favourites The Bar Steward Sons of Val Doonican came across them and enthused so much about LIVE in Barnsley that the Steamchunk boys couldn’t wait to apply for this years festival.

The Sweetchunks Band play an unusual, yet compelling amalgamation of parodic folk, rock, chap-hop and drinking anthems, fused into a Steampunk horsecarriage of farcical and anecdotal comedy. Not to be missed.

Hands Off Gretel are a 4-piece alternative rock band from Barnsley, formed in late 2014.  The band emerged from a music venture between singer/songwriter Lauren Tate and guitarist Sean McAvinue, with Lauren moving onto rhythm guitar and later joined by Danny Pollard (Ex-Demographic) on bass and Laura Moakes on drums.  Lauren told us, “”I am always searching for female singers with integrity and attitude who don’t rely on over-sexualised imagery to sell their music, but they are hard to find. So I set about creating the style of music that I wanted to listen to and couldn’t find, unless I looked back 25 years! I’m sure there are others who also want to hear this music.”

In February 2015 the band released three free download tracks and a new video.  Tracks have already been played by BBC Introducing on Radio Sheffield.  The band’s first gig will be this Saturday 7th March at the Barnsley Rock & Blues Club in a concert put together by Alternative Barnsley in aid of Breast Cancer Care and also featuring Aztec Doll, Harriet Rose Grant and Laura Kelly.

The Torn, from Doncaster, came into being in 2008 and comprise of Nick Berry (Lead Guitar and backing vocals), Tim Taylor (Bass Guitar) Ben Mullins (Drums) and Damian Dalton Smith (Lead Vocals, Rythm Guitar).  Damian is actually the brother of well known actress, Sheridan Smith, who recently won a National Television Award for her amazing performance in the ITV docudrama, Cilla, about the early life and times of Cilla Black.  You may also have seen Damian appear on the BBC’s The Voice a couple of weeks ago but unfortunately he lost his voice on the day and struggled to hold it together on the night of the live performance in front of judges Tom Jones, Rita Ora, Will I Am and Ricky from Kaiser Chiefs.  Undettered Damian vowed to continue singing with The Torn.


The band release their new single, ‘Take It’, on 9th March through Sound Hub Records.

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