Yuck | Live Review
Live @ Exchange, Bristol. 19.11.13.
Shoving his guitar into the front-row, clammy hands grapple at the neck causing effects to ring out through the PA.
Tonight people are dashing into Exchange with real purpose, teeth chattering, arms crossed and their icy breath visible. But thankfully the biting cold is only temporary, as inside a crowd are packed in like penguins. The reason? Londoners Yuck are in town and it’s a fixture proving difficult to turn down.
We’re primed with a sexy playlist of 90’s clubland tunes, ‘Rhythm Is A Dancer’ and all that stuff; but it works, for by the time 9.30 rolls around there’s an excitable air beating around the empty cans of Red Stripe that clutter every surface. Yuck clamber onstage much like their latest album arrived in the music papers, to an appreciative applause. The wailing guitar of ‘Middle Sea’ lashes out with the confidence of a road-conditioned band, and there’s enough bite about the vocals of Max Bloom to convince any critic. It’s a natural lineup with Mariko Doi occasionally stepping up to emphasise harmonies, the new material comes off with a zest of clarity.
Showing no reluctance of dipping into the polished garage of their debut album early on, ‘Holing Out’ probes with a stamp of messy distortion that bring memories of a certain 2011 Jools Holland set rushing back. ‘Lose My Breath’ then ambles in; melodic and sleepy in it’s approach, the Exchange unanimously sways. The only tell-tale sign that this is a band who’ve lost a frontman comes in-between songs when an awkward silence drops. As ever, a complete silence will always welcome a bloke with a few too many pints on-board, who bellows out a request for the band to play the fan-favourite. Tragically this happens during every quiet utero, and I can’t help feeling embarrassed by this man, who tirelessly repeats the same gag. Luckily though, the band take it their stride and respond, ‘yeah we’ll just play that five times’.
‘Out Of Time’ rolls with the melancholic pace of a brisk winter evening and proudly stands up in a setlist of old and new. Max Bloom is however on most convincing form during ‘Get Away’, as every inch of emotion obscures the lyrics “me and my guitar drowning down and down”. It seems that the climax has been reached and there’s little we haven’t heard when the intro of New Order’s ‘Age Of Consent’ flurries in. This encourages one individual to go full-throttle, desperately hauling himself onto the stage for his proudest crowd-surf. It’s hilarious and pathetic as the leaps and takes the crowd to the ground with him, Bloom replaces a good few verses with an uncontrollable bout of laughter. It’s a moment of stupendous brilliance.
The remaining three tracks continue the levels of drama. ‘Operation’ see’s Bloom shoving his guitar into the front-row, clammy hands grapple at the neck causing effects to ring out through the PA. The encore brings whimsical slowie ‘Memorial Fields’ which nicely contrasts against the chirps of final effort ‘Georgia’. Yuck depart like heralded heroes to the merch-stand, where everyone is hungry to meet them. They’re safely showing all the promise whisked up from their debut album and more.
Check out this stupendous rendition of ‘Get Away’ on Jools Holland right here: