Wednesday, 19 May 2010

493 YOU ARE HERE, plus terribly ham-fisted support, London Kentish Town Bull And Gate, Monday 26 March 2001

Took a late call on this one, hot-footing it up to Kentish Town with Rachel, missing the turning on Camden High Street and taking a lengthy diversion in the process. D'oh! Got there, however, in time to meet up with Tim and co, and chill in the Bull And Gate pub, before scooting through at 9 to see a totally ham-fisted lot play some terrible hackneyed punk metal posturing noise which I have to confess featured one reasonably good Therapy?-ish number.

This is the first time YAH have played in the capital (although not for 101 veteran Tim) and they were obviously keyed up to make an impression. Sometimes, though, this has a habit of backfiring on you, and unfortunately this turned out to be the case tonight. From the moment they took the tall Bull And Gate back room stage they looked nervy and unassured, and made a real hash of the mid-point of opener "Hard To Stop". The next few numbers were subsequently affected, and didn't display the usual You Are Here brightness or dynamism. A couple of new numbers also need rework to turn them into proper YAH songs, as "Confidence In Me" currently sounds too much like an attempt to write a Midway Still song, and "Sick Of It All" like a Chris Colbourn Buffalo Tom track.

However, I'm happy to report they pulled it back at the end. "Happy" had its' usual tension, choppy guitar verses and strident chorus; final newie "Far Cry" was the best (and most YAH-ish!) of the new numbers, and they couldn't mess up "Trying To Write" with its' insistent punk rock guitar groove and insanely jolly "yeah yeah" choral yelps, if they tried! Especially as Andy had introduced a descending bass-line into the fadeout, as per my recommendation!

Afterwards, they were all apologies, and realistic that this one was a bit of a duff show, but took heart during my chats with them (individually and collectively) that they can learn and improve from it. After all, they've been top notch before, so it's easy to get back there! This one then turned out to be somewhat surreally like Seafood's Fleece gig last year, insofar as people who'd seen them for the first time tonight were still impressed, but we know they're better than this, and that's a good thing!

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