SUMO CYCO with support from    SKARLETT RIOT - Asylum 2 Birmingham 24.03.18




SUMO CYCO bring their huge, slightly crazy and ever so quirky punk rock/alternative ‘No Sleep! No Surrender’ Tour to the UK and it’s certainly going down a storm with the fans.


Fans are crammed from wall to wall in the SOLD OUT Asylum 2, Birmingham, and I’m certain we’re in for a sweaty night! The crowd are full of excitement, everyone chattering and drinking, the atmosphere is already starting to build and all around there are fans sporting t-shirts for both support band SKARLETT RIOT and the headliners. Everyone seems on a high tonight, face painted fans, beards adorned with red paint and a jovial, crazy, atmosphere encases me as I make my way Down The Front, squishing through the crowd to get to the barrier. Fellow DTF photographer Den Hughes is stood at the barrier, camera in hand ready to capture the evening’s shenanigans. After a brief discussion and a look at the stage setup, which I have to say doesn’t look the best in terms of lighting - all the lights are situated at the back of the stage and angled towards the crowd rather than at the band, making the low-light a tad bit challenging - I make my way to the rear of the room where the acoustics are going to sound the best, springing up onto the surrounding seating area I have a perfect view over the crowd all the way to the stage. A perfect vantage point!

Meandering through the wall of fans from bar to barrier, smiling, greeting fans as they go, Skarlett Riot take to the stage at 8pm, on cue and ready to rock the hell out of this tiny venue, the 200 capacity crowd step closer to the barrier as they kick off with ‘Break’ from their latest album REGENERATE (2017). Straight away Skarlett is at the barrier in the thick of the fans, her hand stretching up to the ceiling as her voice hits those high notes. A quick alteration from the sound desk makes for a much clearer and punchier vocal from Skarlett as ‘The Storm’ thunders to life. Drummer Luke Oglesby takes to his feet, pummelling the drums from a standing position while his brother Danny slays with the opening riffs on his guitar, the crowd fist pumping the air in unison with Skarlett, head banging to the beat in waves across the entire room.


‘Empty Inside’ (SENTIENCE, 2016) sees more interaction from the crowd, the sound from the band full of depth and the energy in the room is unbelievable. For such a small room there’s certainly a lot of noise being generated! Welcoming the crowd to the show and interacting between songs Skarlett and Martin Shepherd (bass) really work the crowd, bolstering the energy and encouraging more of the clapping and fist pumping as their set progresses through fan favourites ‘Calling’ , ‘Closer’. Surveying the crowd there isn’t a single person who isn’t completely mesmerised by the performance that Skarlett Riot are putting on for the fans tonight. High octane energy and an almost combustible atmosphere ensues as the machine gun fire intro of ‘The Wounded’ hits the air and the crowd seems on the verge of exploding. Bringing their formidable set to a close with ‘Warrior’, with its deafening barrage of thundering drums, Skarlett Riot have really warmed the crowd up nicely.

As Skarlett Riot leave the stage and make their way to the merch stand there’s a tangible atmosphere lingering over the excited fans as they await the emergence of SUMO CYCO.


Skarlett Riot Set List:


The Storm

Empty Inside



The Wounded



Skarlett Riot are:

Chloe ‘Skarlett’ Drinkwater - Vocals / Guitar

Danny Oglesby - Guitar / Backing Vocals

Martin Shepherd - Bass - Backing Vocals

Luke Oglesby - Drums


Check out more from Skarlett Riot at:




So, after the outstanding set from Skarlett Riot a refreshment is definitely in order.. standing at the bar waiting on the lemonade I’ve just ordered (yes people I’m on the heavy stuff tonight) I’m suddenly aware of a mass of pink hair next to me, a yellow PVC boob tube with black Sumo Cyco straps and black trousers. To my surprise it’s Skye ‘Sever’ Sweetnam and she just stands there for a moment, her huge smile radiating upon me as she starts mingling with the fans, her presence is like an aura of positivity, she is just so happy and smiley. On stage the guys from SUMO CYCO are already winding up the intro and Skye, seemingly enjoying being amongst her fans, just stands there for a while, smiling, greeting fans at the bar and drinking in the atmosphere before sauntering away and wrapping her arms around the shoulders of a fan. Honestly, she’s just lovely!

Arriving on stage their set kicks off, and I mean kicks off big style with ‘Sleep Tight’, the whole crowd comes to life, everyone is moving in unison like a tidal wave of people all moving in time with one another. The audience is loud! Every word sang out so loud that it’s actually difficult to hear Skye herself over the roar. Taking it up another notch as ‘Anti-Anthem’ fills the air, the crowd are on a high right now, Skye is all over the stage, up at the barrier, bouncing around like the Duracell bunny, her energy infecting the crowd as they follow her lead.

“We’re gonna go old school with this one!” Calls out Skye as ‘Loose Cannon’ fires through the speakers and the crowd erupts in delight. People are standing on the seats at the back of the room, drinks are hoisted in the air and the temperature in the room goes up a few degrees as the already sweaty fans start to radiate an immense heat. On stage water is fountained out of Kenny ‘Thor’ Corke’s mouth straight at Skye, the band shenanigans only adding to the hyped atmosphere.

‘Cry Murder’, and ‘Free Yourself’ see the crowd singing along with every word “nahnah nah nah” fills the room as every person raises the volume level up one more notch, Skye, Matt ‘MD13’ Drake and Kenny embracing the surge of excitement and encouraging more, their performances and energy are electric tonight. Skye’s vocals are hitting the sweet spot with every track and every note is pitch perfect, such an awesome performance!

Proceeding through ‘The Ugly’, ‘Rock N Roll’ and ‘Fighter’ the crowd just seems totally enthralled but the performance that Sumo Cyco put on tonight, whipping them into a frenzy, delivering intensely engaging performances alongside the faultless musical delivery that seriously has me thinking these guys and gal need to be playing to bigger venues.

Now a shakeup of songs and a cover of Red Hot Chilli Peppers ‘Give It Away’ lights up the audience, Sumo Cyco delivering an absolutely spot on performance that has me loving their version way more than the original (my apologies if I offend any RHCP fans out there).


The crowd, maybe spent from the energy that they’ve already exerted during the course of the evening, seem a little less energetic during ‘Passenger’ but soon come back to life for ‘Brave II’ and ‘Like a Killer’ which sees Skye make her way through the crowd toward the bar, “Hey!” She calls out to the bar staff as the song ends, “Can I get a shot of JD?” To which the bar staff comply, pour her the shot which she holds up to the crowd and throws it back immediately. Fans cheer and she continues, addressing the rest of the band “You can carry on anytime you like boys!” To which they fire up a medley of ‘Go Go Go’ and ‘Limp’. Skye remains in the crowd mingling as she belts out the lyrics, stepping up close to fans, dropping her arm around their shoulders before returning to the bar and climbing onto it. The fans are loving this; the interaction is outstanding and appreciated by all.

Finally, Skye makes her way back to the stage, the camaraderie between the band members is evident on their beaming faces as Skye jokingly announces that Benji Webbe of Skindred is joining them for ‘Move Mountains’ alas “I’m sorry, no Benji isn't here,” she proclaims as the opening notes of the track fill the air and the roof really gets raised off the Asylum tonight. The bass of Kenny rumbling the floor boards loose and drums from Matt ‘Trozzi’ are thunderous throughout this song.

Encouraging the crowd now Skye calls out “I’m the Captain of this fucking Cyco ship and you’re my crew! Now everyone huddle down on the floor, this is where all those squats you do come in use.. now when I say you’re all going to explode off the floor!” At that the majority of the room is low down on the floor, the last song in their set about to hit the airwaves.. when it does it’s the latest single ‘Undefeated’ that causes the room to explode from the floor, the fans going slightly mad, the swaying, jumping, bouncing chaotic frenzy that ensues as the track comes to an end is purely crazy and honestly I'm exhausted from the energy that has been spent in this small venue tonight.


I can honestly say that Sumo Cyco don’t just write great songs, they perform them with as much enthusiasm and excitement as a band would playing to a huge arena full of thousands of fans. Quite a night and quite a show, one I know I won’t be forgetting in a hurry.


Sumo Cyco Set list:

Sleep Tight


Loose Cannon

Cry Murder

Free Yourself


Rock N Roll


Give It Away (Red Hot Chilli Peppers Cover)


Brave II

Like A Killer

Go Go Go / Limp

Move Mountains



Sumo Cyco are:
Skye ‘Sever’ Sweetnam - Vocals

Matt ‘MD13’ Drake - Guitar

Kenny ‘Thor’ Corke - Bass

Matt ‘Trozzi’ - Drums


Find out more from Sumo Cyco at:




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