Experimental Music Love

January 8, 2008

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Edinburgh, Liquid Rooms 05/02/06

Filed under: Live Reviews — by Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 5:49 pm

After a painfully mediocre set from local boys, The Very, Two Gallants take to the stage to try and whip up some enthusiasm in the crowd before the headliners come on. Hailing from San Francisco and signed to Conor Oberst’s Saddle Creek label (two of this journalist’s favourite things in the world) the twosome give a good account of themselves with some great songs reminiscent of a countrified Engineers with added harmonica.

But it’s Clap Your Hands Say Yeah that everyone is here to see perform their first ever Edinburgh gig, and the new indie kids on the block certainly come with a lot of expectation on their young shoulders. Comparisons to Arcade Fire and Antony and the Johnsons have been lazily thrown around, with dark orchestral rock with other worldly vocals being CYHSY’s forte, but to label these boys as anything would diminish their truly perplexing and wonderful music and vocals.

‘The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth’ gets things underway, it’s riff, though repetitive, cuts through every member of the crowd making them realise what a special band these guys are. Sadly, unlike the record, there’s no link straight into upcoming single ‘Is This Love?’ but there is however a delightful rendition of the harmonica led ‘Details of the War.’

The band show they have a lot more than songs than those on the fantastic album, with about half the set comprising of new material, and each song sounding as good as the instant classics found on the record. And these new ones only allow more chance for Alec Ounsworth’s unique, almost alien, vocals to shine though it’s hard to distinguish anything more than “Satan” from his yelps.

Still, it’s the songs on the record that get the biggest reception. Everyone dances around as their enveloped by ‘Home on Ice’ and encore ‘Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood’ has the whole crowd singing along about child stars and their debauched lives.

An immensely happy and rapturous performance from a unique band who clearly love what they’re doing.

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