2019 is nearly over! Here at PROLE JAZZ we’re celebrating the year in music with our revamped feature, From the Mouths of Babes. Over the festive season we sent intrepid word-meister Oliver Porpoise Firefly a-wanderin’ the mean streets of the cities of Planet Earth to quiz humans of musical significance on their opinions on what was hot (or not) this year almost gone.
In this episode, Oliver cornered four fine folk from the splendiforous town of Sheffield. He grilled them relentlessly until they revealed all their favourite bits of what has been an astounding year in music, delving into the depths of their rainbowed psyches and leaving no stone unturned, or stoner untuned.
Today’s From the Mouths of Babes showcases the kaleidoscopic views of Celestial Broc (disco deejay, cosmic dancer, electropop diva), Rhiannon Scutt (folk legend, songwriter extraordinaire), Chris Welch (radio man, jazz wax hero) and Mike (rap cat, label bossman, junglist).
What happened? It was a collision of great minds and diverse music tastes. Read on, amigos, read on…
P.S. ~ we also made our own PROLE JAZZ list of theTop 50 Songs of Sheffield, check them out here (#25-#1) and here (#50-#26)…
Oliver: This was a year of incredible music, both here in Sheffield and beyond the city walls. Tell me about your top tunes of the year my friends! Beat me with your sexy words!
Celestial Broc: My favourite Sheffield release has to be the Jackson Swaby/Jackie Moonbather collaboration Indigo. I reviewed the EP earlier this year and every time I listened to it I fell more in love. I’m not even sure what I fell in love with, probably just a day dream if you can even fall in love with your own day dream, but it’s effects included involuntary slow motion voguing. In terms of releases from bands outside Sheffield, you need to realise I am a slave to the Disco and I love quirky electronica, consequently favourite release is Disco Peanuts by Warmduscher. It has everything you need; 70’s vibes, radical synths, sexy sighs, bongos. Just listen to it and dance.
Rhiannon: I’ve just checked my most played on iTunes and it’s without a doubt Big Thief‘s U.F.O.F – Particularly the song Cattails. Everything Adrienne Lenker utters speaks smacks me straight in the feelings and this album is no different. When it comes to Sheffield bands, the standout track for me is Magnetic by Oh Papa. It feels nostalgic and familiar and yet simultaneously current. I urge you to check it out.
Chris: SAULT, Seed Ensemble, Little Simz
Mike: Wahala Wahala by K.O.G & The Zongo Brigade without a doubt my favourite album of the year. A timeless masterpiece that will forever be played around the world.
Check my review here.
Oliver: Cool thanks! Some fantastic choices there. How about the best gig of the year?
Celestial Broc: I’m not allowed to choose my own gigs?
Oliver: Erm.. well…
Celestial Broc: OK. Best gig I went to in Sheffield this year was Snapped Ankles at Picture House Social (check out our PROLE JAZZ review and interview) because I just felt so at one with nature. Best Sheffield band gig in Sheffield, was and possibly always will be Yo Dynamo. All of them (and there were quite a few this year!). I am yet to become habituated to their wall of noise. Best out of town gig was Confidence Man at Brudenell Social Club. Stage changes, and shoulder pads and cone bras that light up, what more could you want from a gig?
Rhiannon: I saw Her Crooked Heart live at Cafe 9 back in June. Four multi-instrumentalists, each with impeccable musicianship, wonderful harmonies, and a real warmth on stage. I adore watching players interact during songs but also in the space in between. I fell for each of these womens’ individual charisma as well as their outstanding talent, and would recommend catching them live next time they’re back in Sheffield.
Chris: Lost count of how many superb acts I’ve seen this year but Maisha, Gary Bartz and Kate Tempest
Mike: The mighty Winston Macabre playing Dorothy Pax for the first time was my gig of the year for 2019. As an avid gig goer and live band enthusiast I could have named a number of bands for this particular honour. The likes of Popper’s Revival at the Cremorne, Yo Dynamo at Sharrow Lantern Carnival or any of the Rhythm Theory jam nights could be up there but there was something really special about this particular gig which for me, took the crown and is the highlight of the year.
Supported by Inavibe’s Leona to a packed crowd, Conor and the gang bought their A game with multiple costume changes, mesmerising songs about alcoholic radiation resistance and islands of rabbits, amongst some other unparalleled original classics like Stay out of Woods and TLDR. Having missed Winston at Dev Green for Tramlines in July, I was determined to see them again for their ‘come back’ gig after initially announcing that they would be taking a creative break after tramlines. They did not disappoint.
There is a reason this gig was so special and that was because at the very end of their 2nd 45 minute set, Winston set about ordering all those present to follow them into the Victoria keys carpark stairwell to witness a very special moment. Utterly genius end to a superb gig.
Oliver: 2020 is gonna be a big year, with loads of seminal artists due a release. What are you most looking forward to musically in the year to come?
Celestial Broc: Hold onto your butts, ShaSh may well release their debut album.
Celestial Broc is arguably the solar orb at the centre of Sheffield’s high NRG music scene. Not only is she 50% of electro-disco freak shamans ShaSh, she is 100% PROLE JAZZ‘s greatest interviewer and 20% transcendental space ape from the Captain Avery & the Cosmic Triceratops of Intergalactic Peace crew.
Rhiannon: I’m in the middle of mixing and mastering my debut solo studio album to be released at Abbeydale Picture House on September 18th. The recording process was incredibly collaborative, featuring sixteen other Sheffield musicians. (Including The Cuckoo Clock‘s Paul Infanti, Oh Papa‘s Jack Davies, and Beyond Albedo‘s Sarah Heneghan) So I want the release party to reflect that. It’s an enormous undertaking, but i’ve plenty of time to get a great show together. Plus, it’s great to be able to simultaneously support one of Sheffield’s most beautiful venues.
Rhiannon Scutt is one of Sheffield’s best loved folkies and we’re exceedingly excited to hear news of her impending debut album. Check out her 2019 PROLE JAZZ top 50 single ‘Stevie’ here…
Chris: For 2020 – just excited about the ongoing musical mutations that the jazz scene is twisting and turning into. Can’t wait to see where it goes! And, as a DJ with no musical talents, am just wanting to just catch more and more live music. Also excited about putting on some more of my Sounds Like This nights too!
Chris Welch has been playing jazz, soul, beats and outernational goodness in and around Sheffield since 1999 from Soul Rebels to Kabal via Soundwave Croatia. He presents Sounds Like This on Sunday’s at 5pm on 93:2FM Sheffield Live and has done since 2007.
Mike: More Music! All of the up and coming releases on Northfield Records especially; Bert Rogers’ second EP, Xybots’ second LP, the remaining 10 volumes of ‘The Machine’ series by Copiusbeats and much more.
I’m looking forward to attending and enjoying the following local festivals; Peace in the Park, Sharrow Festival, Sharrow Lantern Carnival and Rite Trax on the Bole Hills.
I’m also really excited about The Talent Show on radio Sheffield Live which I host every second Friday of the month. I am pleased to announce exclusively here that the following guests will be joining me on air in the months to come. Jackson Swaby, Nye Farley, Winston Hazel, Conor Nutt, Andy H, Nahm Sane & the Rite trax lads (Bourbon Muncher and Seyk).
Apart from that, I’m just really excited about the scene in general and the many more gigs I shall be attending with friends and family.
Mike runs iconic Sheffield label Northfield Records – check out their 2019 releases on this playlist – releases music under the Copiusbeats moniker and is one half of drum ‘n’ bass Xybots. Check out his SoundCloud and Insta