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  • Tegan Jay

Delilah Bon at The Leadmill: Inspiring a New Generation of Punk Rockers

Delilah Bon played her first solo Sheffield show at The Leadmill on September 29th, making an otherworldly performance that the crowd are sure not to forget anytime soon.



Bringing an end to a long-awaited tour, fans of both Delilah Bon and her band Hands Off Gretel gathered to see the progress she’s made since beginning her solo career, joined onstage by the likes of renowned bassist Ruena and outstanding DJ mixer Tasmin Taylor. Returning to her home region of South Yorkshire to rock the Steel Stage, the show is one of eleven on the tour with support from Bizarrefae and ALT BLK ERA. Last playing with her band Hands Off Gretel at The Leadmill two years ago, Delilah Bon lived up to the standards of a punk rock star and the revolutionary venue once again welcomed a comfortable crowd for the show, who were raring for the amazing night ahead.



Kicking off the show anti-folk, electronic punk support Bizarrefae did as expected of them – they hyped the crowd up in preparation for the rest of the night. Wearing an intergalactic fairy outfit, be under no illusion that the sounds from this duo are sweet and silent. By the middle of their set, Bizarrefae had created such a great artist-audience relationship that the crowd followed their instruction and sat down during their song ‘Sequoia’, a reflective love song to their younger selves about the things they'd experienced in the past and how they would change them or approach them with a different mindset. Bizarrefae had plenty to say proving that they have a voice and they’re using it to speak out against women’s rights issues and those experienced by the LGBTQIA+ community, similarly to the headliner of the night, a perfect support act.



The next support to follow were ALT BLK ERA, a trap alt metal band with an amazingly energetic performance. A sister duo who are fierce, raw and unconventional, and despite only being on the music scene for a few short months their fearless sound is already ricocheting crowds up and down the country. ALT BLK ERA’s incredible harmonies intertwined with heavy basslines and rap and rock sounds perfectly introduced who they are to the Sheffield crowd and were another incredible act to open.



Now for the headliner, Delilah Bon. The brat-punk-influenced feminist whipped the audience into a frenzy with a monstrous 19-track setlist that included much loved tracks ‘Dead Men Don’t Rape,‘Bad Attitude’ and ‘I Don’t Listen To You’ which went down a storm as you’d expect. There was something for every fan and Bon made all of our traumas feel heard. During 'Where My Girls At', Bon directed the women in the audience to the front of the stage and the men to the back, so that the women could come together to feel the lyrics and scream them back to Bon. This was a really special moment during the show, you could sense that everyone felt comfortable and safe enough to sing and move however they wanted to.


With most tracks tackling tough topics there was no room for disconnect at the show. Delilah proved that she has plenty to say in starting a movement amongst young people of all genders, sexualities and backgrounds.



A highlight for me was as the encore began for ‘Dead Men Don’t Rape’. You could feel the anticipation for the track, we’d waited all night for it, and everyone was ready to sing their hearts out. This song is special, it is freeing. I felt honoured to have experienced it live.


No number of words could capture the atmosphere of the show. The most fitting thing I could say would be that the entire time I couldn’t stop feeling like I was understood and seen through lyrics of the female experience, the difficulties we have to live through every day. It was refreshing to be together through adversity. The show was a huge milestone for all the night’s acts, to play their genre to a packed Leadmill has truly helped to shape their way into the punk rock world.



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