East India Youth | Live Review
East India Youth @ Exchange, Bristol. 04.06.15.
All too often it felt like his eyes were on you…
William Doyle has set the bar high for new electronic producers in the industry. Weaving carefully crafted sonic atmospherics that flow seamlessly through his melodic vocal, he may have outdone the success of his critically acclaimed first album ‘Total Strife Forever’ with his latest, ‘Culture Of Volume’.
Yet tonight he approached the stage with an air of apprehension, which needn’t been there at all. Soon he was hammering, twisting, and turning around his instruments like a mad professor working to resurrect Frankenstein’s monster. By the second song, we’ve already head stand out ‘Turn Away'; a thunderous sonic assault where Doyle proves just how good a one man band he can be, switching the buttons and synths for a crunchy riff that sounds off nicely.
You get the sense Doyle is particularly skilled at multi-tasking; during ‘Dripping Down’, his dislodged soundboard caused a mild stir, mid song until it was repaired by a concerned event co-ordinator, which rose a cheer from the crowd. After that minor blip, Doyle kicked into an euphoric explosion of synths that got everybody moving and shaking in their own ways.
Though let’s not forget the harmonic voice that drives some of his tracks, such as during ‘Heaven How Long’. Here, the poppy 90s style synths blended surprisingly well with a scuzzy solo background riff, whilst he effortlessly broke the record for most headbangs during one song. Similar, the austere ‘Beaming White’ is performed more passionately than the airy synths we hear on the record; we have much more momentum and drive from Doyle and you can clearly see how live shows are his strong point.
Futuristic retro pop breakdown ‘Hearts That Never’ moves the crowd – and Doyle himself – possibly even more than ‘Turn Away’ did previously. However, there is no simple dance for this smartly dressed electronica; every member of the crowd is jerking around in a different way, one pointing in the air like it’s a game of Cluedo on the ceiling, others simply bopping along or slow grooving it out. ‘Carousel’ was a fitting end to the night; the echoey soundscape shushing the room into a silence which was only broken by the saccharine voice of William Doyle, sweat dripping down from his head and eyes fixed on the crowd so intensely all too often it felt like his eyes were on you.
Of course, on record East India Youth is industrial electropop at the top of it’s game, but live so much more is heard and you can visibly see how passionate Doyle is about the music. Whether he was performing a guitar solo while he set his track to play, or was having his own kind of musically induced seizure while jamming the right keys and working his sonic wizardry, it’s not hard to see why the Brian Eno endorsed wonder boy has so much buzz about him. I’m sure that what’s to come in the future is bound to be just as thrilling as tonight’s performance.
Check out the video for ‘Carousel’ below: