Nai Harvest @ Queens Social Club, 15/10/2016

Sheffield's own boys Nai Harvest last ever gig in their home city was always going to be a bitter sweet send off, but cor blimey was it messy. It's fair to say that guitarist and singer Ben Thompson and drummer Lew Currie obliterated the Queens Social Club, an antediluvian shell of a former working men's club turned into a carnal sweat box, the walls redecorated with a Jackson Pollock-like splatter of beer, surely to be remembered for years to come as the place many in audience got a flying kick to the head and a sodden armpit in the face but didn't give a shit because it was one of the best live shows they've ever seen.



They opened with their biggest hit Hold Open My Head, a melodic intro followed by the kind of rip-roaring punk recklessness that jolts your vital organs and melts a few brain cells. It took no less than two minutes for the first super-fan to scale the stage and throw themselves into the crowd, then the floodgates opened and even the most delicate elfin tweens were leaping into the arms of bemused onlookers. One poor lass fell foul to the beer-coated slime deluging the stage, and face planted so spectacularly the mate she clambered the speakers with took off without her and didn't look back. Another guy timed his somersault all wrong and was no sooner legs akimbo on the cold hard floor than the enraptured sea of the parted crowd were drawing in around him.


It didn't take long for Ben to call defeat against the overwhelming heat, but, sans shirt, he could give all the carpe diem effervescence that Nai Harvest are so loved for, and didn't let a bust guitar string stop him either ("that's about as Nai Harvest as it gets everybody... I knew that was going to happen.") He also thanked us all for turning up to their "funeral", and sweetly checked that everyone was ok, somewhat paradoxical considering the sheer pandemonium that was unfolding before his eyes.


But, alas, all good things must come to an end, and don't Nai Harvest know it. As Ben confessed to the crowd, both he and Lew would rather part ways confident that their discography was everything they wanted it to be, because they don't want to be another one of those bands that overkill their careers and release ten pointless albums just to salvage any remnants of respect and creativity - they're happy that "every single song [they've] made is a fucking hit." At the close of the final track, Ben simply knocks over the mic, scratches out the last few chords and waves a humbled goodbye.

Rest in peace boys, you'll be missed.

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