REVIEW: Sick Puppies, The Leadmill, Sheffield

Have your say

HOURS after Andy Murray crashed out of the final of the Australian Open these Sydney natives crashed into Sheffield on Sunday night, but left everyone there a winner.

It’s been a long time coming for the potent three-piece. Formed 14 years ago, they quit their homeland to follow the rock ‘n’ roll dream in LA. That spirit is embodied in huge new single Maybe, already a US hit.

Now three albums in, Europe has been a little slower to catch onto their wares, a big, energetic roar of grunge-lined guitars with a pop edge that defies their limited manpower.

At times they bludgeon with riffs more befitting Rage Against The Machine, a style point hammered home by a snippet of Killing In The Name mid-set - just after their banned and brilliant ransacking of Destiny’s Child hit Say My Name.

This isn’t a band that needs to hide behind covers, however. In the likes of Going Down, here delivered as a brutal closer, and their début UK single All The Same, they have the sonic firepower to flatten a crowd a hundred times larger than this modest turn-out and in Shimon Moore a frontman with the gusto and people skills to rouse a graveyard into a security-scaring bounce-off.

Pretty pint-sized bassist Emma Anzai is anything but window-dressing; combined with drummer Mark Goodwin she forms a wrecking ball rhythm section that makes the floor vibrant as it drives the Puppies’ contagious mix of melody and aggression.

This intimate huddle was surely a taste of bigger things to come, as summer festival marquees will surely confirm. These puppies are actually fighting fit. And they bite, hard.