PREVIEW: Sheffield's own Oddity Road play biggest gig yet at The Leadmill

Oddity Road. Photo: Rhona Murphy
Oddity Road. Photo: Rhona Murphy

Home town boys Oddity Road will play their biggest gig so far when they headline The Leadmill on Saturday night - October 13.

And fans at the show could end up on the cover of their next record.

“We’re going to capture some new pictures on the night for our next single’s artwork,” said drummer Ethan Lambert. “If you’re there, you could be part of it.”

TICKETS: Oddity Road headline The Leadmill, Saturday, October 13, doors 7:30pm. Tickets are £8 at leadmill.co.uk.

Oddity Road also play Chapel, Leeds on Saturday November 10. Tickets £8. Latest single All Again is out now. More at oddityroad.co.uk.

It has already been a memorable year for the band from Sheffield and Hope Valley. Their current tour has taken in iconic venues like The Joiners in Southampton, Arts Club in Liverpool and Bodega in Nottingham.

In February, they sold out the 500 capacity second room at O2 Academy in Sheffield.

Their latest single, All Again, has been championed by Huw Stephens on Radio One and made the evening playlist on Radio X. It has even featured in match day music at Luton Town F.C., the first football league club to play one of the band’s tunes.

Now, after a summer of festival appearances, including explosive sets at Tramlines and Y Not, frontman Jack Heath, lead guitarist Dan Brennan, bassist Joel Gilbourne and drummer Ethan Lambert are returning to the venue that has played such an important part in their short time in music.

“We couldn’t be more excited about playing the main room at The Leadmill,” said Jack.

“Only Dan is from Sheffield, but the rest of us don’t live far away, so it’s going to be like a homecoming gig for everyone.

“It’s such a special place, I would pay just to sound check on that stage,” he laughed.

Ethan once worked at The Leadmill, loading gear for bands like Everything Everything, The Hunna and Rat Boy, but it was a local group who they met there nearly two years ago that gave the lads their biggest break.

“Back then we were already fans of The Sherlocks and had seen their sold out show at The Leadmill in June 2016 when they were still unsigned,” explained Ethan.

Oddity Road. Photo: Rhona Murphy

Oddity Road. Photo: Rhona Murphy

“Then, a few months later we were supporting a group called Kong in the small room on a week night and Brandon Crook, the drummer from the Sherlocks, came down to watch with their manager Mick.”

“They liked what they saw and we were lucky enough to be put on their tour the following January, alongside Bolton band Jordan Allen.”

Dan said, “We couldn’t believe it. We used to play two of their songs, Heart of Gold and Live For The Moment, in our set, so we had to drop those quickly!”

Their first performance beyond their local strongholds of Plug and the Foundry was supporting The Sherlocks at Manchester’s Albert Hall in February 2017 in front of more than 2,000 people. Joel says it was the start of a new chapter for them.

“All our mates were talking about A Levels and going to university, but we’d be arriving at morning lectures after being out at gigs until 3 o’clock in the morning. It was a different world for us.”

Ethan said they learnt a lot from being on the road with the Bolton upon Dearne brothers.

Oddity Road. Photo: Rhona Murphy

Oddity Road. Photo: Rhona Murphy

“We’ve adopted their moto, which is to always go on stage and enjoy it and never have a bad gig. We’ve also learnt from their use of backing vocals and harmonies to create a bigger wall of sound, plus it helps keep us all busy on stage,” he laughed.

Joel said, “They showed us that gigs should always be about the music and that we should never hesitate to turn up our amps and make as much noise as we can.”

Jack, Ethan and Joel attended Hope Valley College before meeting Dan in sixth form at High Storrs School, which also counts former Sheffield United and now Manchester City and England defender Kyle Walker as a former pupil.

“Even at secondary school, it sometimes seemed that we were in a different universe to everyone else, talking about music all the time,” said Jack. “But we never dreamt of getting a song on Radio One when we used to go out for chips at lunchtime!”

The band’s name originates from their school days too. Dan was part of a band called The Oddities, but things changed when he met the others.

“When we formed, it seemed that everyone in Sheffield was naming their bands after roads or places in the city, so we thought we’d do the same, but with a twist,” said Joel.

Jack explained the story behind the band’s latest single, All Again, which they recorded with Wolverhampton producer Gavin Monaghan and taped a video with filmmaker Luke Thompson.

“It’s about long summer days like this, really good times at festivals or anywhere with your mates, and then longing to do it all again when it’s all over. It is a catchy upbeat number that we have had in our set for a while. We love playing it live.”

Gavin Monaghan also produced previous single Don’t Hold Me Down and last month worked with the lads on another new number called A Thousand Miles, which is already on the band’s set list at gigs.

“We also have another song called Forever Away that we have been playing for a few months now,” said Jack. “We think it’s a great one, but we are still moulding it to see what works best live before it gets recorded.”

“There’s about six or seven tunes like that which we keep flipping in and out of the set,” added Ethan. ”There is one which we are especially excited about that will be in the set at The Leadmill.”

While Oddity Road are loving life on the road, they say there are some downsides to touring. “We’ve learnt that Travel Lodge only has Typhoo, not Yorkshire Tea,” laughed Joel.

Jack says they are gearing up for their next single. “We want to keep momentum going as much as possible after this tour. We can’t say what will come next, but expect more rock and roll.”