The hipsters of Sheffield have all come out to position themselves in various, nonchalant poses around the dimly lit, shabby-chic Forum. The gig is free and the cider is watery. Once the first support act - an archetypal student band who brought most of their audience with them - staggered off stage, Sparrow and the Workshop’s on-tour support, Meursault, sets up and shows them how it’s done.

The Edinburgh band takes folk and gives it a kick up the arse, usually with the help of a sampler and synth, but tonight it’s purely through the outstanding power of lead-singer Neil Pennycock’s almighty Scottish below. They belt out songs from their 2010 album All Creatures Will Make Merry, in all it’s crestfallen glory, such as the historically inspired number ‘William Henry Miller’ (which they tell us is based on a hermaphroditic politician who requested that he was buried 40 feet underground, facing hell). They’re meant to prepare us for whatever Celtic treasures lie in store, but on reflection, they were the more breath-taking act.

Do excuse me whilst I slip into first-person for the remainder of this review. The reason being is that I’m sure there must be something wrong with me. Despite critics claiming Sparrow and the Workshop’s new album, Spitting Daggers, to be “enchanting” and “alluring”, I simply couldn’t see it. It’s possible front-woman Jill O’Sullivan’s new bowl-shaped hair-cut proved too much of a distraction, but despite a few sensational moments, SATW left me unsatisfied. There was spiraling chords, beautiful duets between O’Sullivan and drummer Gregor Donaldson, a Wild West feel, a rumbling bop in the form of single ‘Snake in the Grass’, and some top-notch howling; but no spark. I’m still annoyed at my own inability to truly enjoy them, but the only moments where I fully appreciated their style was during ‘The Soft Sound of Your Voice’ and ‘I Will Break You’. The former is a dark, intense lullaby which was performed with great passion, and the latter is dappled with uncharacteristically brash moments that O’Sullivan admits was written for “all the haters” back in Glasgow, and provoked the best crowd response. Perhaps what SATW lacked more often than not, for me, was that emotional fire. They need something to propel their set from sounding repetitive. Every jerking, twisting melody melted into one, so when the songs got slower or vitriol became palpable, they got into full swing. Jill did explain that she was losing her voice, so there’s every chance that this was just a dud gig. Either way, Sparrow and the Workshop and I shan’t be seeing one another again any time soon. Not even if the cider is stronger.