Dave Hause and the Mermaid
Plug, Sheffield – 15 October
Last month, the Philadelphia punk rock troubadour took his merry band of musicians to Plug and brought the Hause down (shameless pun). Two tracks deep, Hause has the crowd unglued through a classic recipe of good showmanship, high-tempo punk rock jams and crowd interaction throughout. He delivers a rowdy set which complements the rest of the lineup opening up for Frank Iero and the Patience nicely. While Paceshifters gave us frantic energy, The Homeless Gospel Choir gave us heartfelt acoustic anthems and Hause throws out hot slabs of Americana reminiscent of The Gaslight Anthem and Chuck Ragan.
A vocoder intro and a Cyndi Lauper cover are nice touches to the set, but it’s the high-energy singalong of ‘Dirty Fucker’ that really grips the audience tonight. It’s fair to say this is where the energy peaks, before a slight dip near the end of the set. Dave Hause and the Mermaid know their craft and do their job of prepping this crowd nicely. It’s clear to see that, twenty-plus years into his career, Hause isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
Frank Iero and The Patience
Exactly one year ago, the former My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero and his crew were in a direct collision with a bus in Australia. Since then, a sophomore album, world tour and many painful hours in physiotherapy have brought the New Jersey native back to Sheffield to provide us with a defiant display of the punk rock spirit.
Iero wasted no time with the sold-out Plug. Opening with the hefty grunge rock blast of ‘World Destroyer’, any notion that tonight might be tame evaporated instantly. However, it’s the album track ‘Neverenders’ that set the place ablaze.
Mosh pits spewing into a sea of crowdsurfers and lyrics hysterically bellowed back at the band – Frank keeps the place moving. It’s a spontaneous and relentless set, featuring both debut album tracks, new material and even a few cheeky covers, including a brave but loyal Beatles cover of ‘Helter Skelter’.
Frank and The Patience closed the show with fan favourite ‘Joyriding’ and the newer ‘Oceans’. The strength and contrast of both songs highlighted how Frank and his band have grown over the past few years, from songwriting, stage presence and even the band name. Every aspect of Frank Ieros’ outfit keeps developing and it’s amazing to watch.
With a break coming after this album cycle, it will be interesting to see how Iero reinvents his solo project from here. One year on, it’s clear that he puts every ounce of himself into his music. He lived, almost died and recovered by doing this. One thing is for sure, if a bus can’t stop this guy, then nothing can.
Well done for making it to the end. As a gift here is a picture with me and Air Drawn Dagger singer Maisie and me looking nice and awkward with our Frank….