Yak | Live Review & Photos

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Photo (c) Hannah Broughton

As the tracks started to come to an end, what looked like the remaining members of The Goonies rushed the stage.

With only a couple of EP’s to their name and no news of an album release date, it’s safe to say the London-based Yak have truly left us in the lurch. Anticipation for this gig was suitably high.

After a strong performance from support band The Big Moon, only half an hour remained until the trio took to the hallowed Louisiana stage, when in came the fans. Oh poor indie folk, so this is where you’ve been hiding from the world of strobes and shuffling. Fear no more, you are safe here.

Yak’s sound is what can only be described as a complete witch’s brew of rock ‘n’ roll and sludgy psychadelia. It is by no means hazy though. This is hard and fast rock music. A big sound, with churning bass lines and full-bodied drum patterns that continuously thrash and writhe. Frontman Oliver Burslem’s riffing holds the kind of overt, nonchalance that recalls Queens of the Stone Age, or even some of Wolfmother’s early material.

“This next one is really slow and boring”, he jokes to the mewing fan base. Burslem is dynamite on stage, and a gifted front-man, with a vocal style that sits somewhere between the tenacity of Ty Segall, and the cool sneers of Jim Morrison. But make no mistake, this guy can scream when he wants to – and that’s when things really get interesting.

Yak’s electrifying sound works so well because of their cohesiveness as an outfit, demonstrated in their Pixies-esc ability to jump from intricate, swirling moments to crashing noise. The crowd reciprocated with an intense response. In fact, it seemed like the only guy not having a good night was the infuriated soundman, who was desperately chasing and hurling manic teenagers off of the stage. The frenzy was becoming uncontrollable. “Just don’t step on my pedals” Burslem pleaded.

The tracks started to come to an end, and so too did any control over the audience, as what looked like the remaining members of The Goonies proceeded to rush the stage. At first, I was somewhat surprised by how young the crowd was, but then I realised that this is new music for youth to get excited about. And exciting it most certainly is, as Yak have that unique ability to leave their audience with the feeling of bewildered exhilaration that comes only from seeing a true rock & roll band.

Give these guys a try, and get a free membership to the ‘when-is-the-freakin’-album-released’ crew.

Check out ‘Hungry Heart’ right here: