Experimental Music Love

March 6, 2008

The Young Knives – Glasgow, Classic Grand 29/02/08

Filed under: Live Reviews — by Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 10:16 am

Pigeon-holed by some as geek rockers, aptly playing up to the tweed and specs aesthetic they possess, and resented by others who can’t see past the jagged guitars and confusingly label them alongside the likes of Bloc Party, Futureheads, Wombats and other such indie timewasters, The Young knives have long been a band that have deserved far more credit than they have been awarded so far.

Extensive and dedicated touring, as well as a melee of catchy pop singles that suggest a band full of smart ideas, humour and an ear for a well-crafted melody, are just two of the facets that make The Young Knives something of a boon for the British music industry. And Glasgow was lucky to have this boon playing tonight.

Early champions (now lamenters, natch) of their work, NME, were sponsoring this Brats package of The Young Knives and Vampire Weekend as art of their various awards show dabblings. But it was Vampire Weekend who were the real brats of this occasion, bulling out due to an alleged illness, though their new found hype and critical success, that may have made them look down on such a supporting role, may have been the more plausible reason for such absence. This was certainly no way for the indie darlings to give themselves a good name, leaving, as Henry Dartnall points out, the many fans who paid money solely to see them sorely disappointed.

Dwelling on disappointment is never good, so with some words about the headliners and how they lived up to the promise those catchy singles and witty quips suggested. Well, a few words. For though the singles were still catchy, and the quips were indeed witty, there was a jaded disillusionment as The Young Knives just don’t turn out to be the live band that they really should be.

She’s Attracted To – such a cheerily brash tirade on record – is thrown away first thing tonight, and lacks in a real temper to make it a commanding opener. And much of what follows falls to a similar fate.

With their breakthrough work found lacking, it takes the new songs to lift the mood and demonstrate a band capable of entertaining the masses.

Up All Night is their most ferocious moment, and the love for Terra Firma is evident from a most appreciative crowd.

Chairs and strings come out midset as the trio give their take on the epic pop song. Luckily, rather than proving hopelessly pretentious as these things so often do, Turn Tail proves to be the most interesting moment on the night,

Vampire Weekend’s no show should have made The Young Knives do all they could to give this Glasgow crowd a night to remember, but a show like this barely deserved a mention over chips and Irn Bru afterwards. There was charm and there were quality songs, but nothing to disprove any critics out there disappointed with the current humdrum nature of British music. Oh well.

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