On March 18th, post-punk stars of the scene Yard Act took a visit to Rescue Rooms, to show off their socially and politically charged debut full length The Overload. The new Live Editor of The Mic, Jodie Averis, and the new Managing Director, Jake Longhurst, review.
JA: Yard Act burst onto the scene with their debut album The Overload, and have since landed various festival slots as well as a headline tour. A polished piece that is full to the brim with a scathing and insightful social commentary, there was an electricity in the air as onlookers were eagerly anticipating what frontman James Smith and his band had to say and do. Their debut EP, the Dark Days EP, was also an excellent example of their political and social views, and was a phenomenal entry point for a band so young.
''Part of their allure is the intimacy of their shows, which was enhanced by Rescue Rooms''
JA: Walking into Rescue Rooms, immediately the atmosphere felt more like watching your mates hit the open mic night down the local pub rather than a headline gig; this is a band whose charisma centres around proximity to their listeners. This is a paean to Yard Act: they’re more than capable of drawing far larger crowds, however, part of their allure is the intimacy of their shows, which was enhanced by Rescue Rooms. The demographic of the crowd was largely old school punks, donning mohawks and denim jackets à la Keith Flint, and it was refreshing to see the punk revival back in motion.
JL: The soundsystem at the venue further helped enhance this feeling, as the sound was crunchy and allowed for the band to take their sound to its fattest extreme, making the live experience all the more enjoyable for me. Being at Rescue Rooms with a really good mate and seeing a band that made the gig as friendly as it was made the whole evening into a brilliant experience that is extremely memorable.
JL: Speaking of The Overload, the band started with the title track and opener for the album as their set opener, and it was an excellent choice to start their set off with! They carried on into Dead Horse and The Incident, which are two of my favourite songs of theirs after The Overload. The rest of the set held up admirably too, with fan favourite Fixer Upper finishing off the short but powerful setlist that the band chose for the night. Rich was a particular highlight as well as, whilst it’s not one that I noticed so much on my first listen through of the album, it has grown on me massively and really struck a chord with the crowd on the evening, making it possibly the biggest sing along of the night.
JA: The charm of the gig came from the poetry of the vocals, and the varied styles of entertainment the band gave; with many points that felt like a comedy show, and a reading of poetry from the lead singer, the band provided not just a musical show but an entire performance, all within the space of an hour. They even managed to squeeze in room for an extended guitar solo that really showed off their technical musicality as well as raw talent; often enough, Yard Act prefer to play far more minimalist instrumentals, best shown by track Rich.
''A quick hint to anyone going to see Yard Act, take a 50p coin with you, you never know when you’ll need it''
JL: The end of the show came about far too soon, and was a real shame when it did inevitably come around. The crowd cleared fairly slowly, with plenty of men sticking around to converse with their fellow Yard Act fans, in an atmosphere not dissimilar to that of a post-football match conversation. Jodie and I managed to bump into Sam, the guitarist of the group, and had a chat about the gig and the band, which was a very lovely conversation! He was a thoroughly pleasant individual, and to top it all off had a marvellous moustache. We finished off a wonderful evening with a delightful pint of the Rescue Rooms peach lager, and looked back on an evening well spent in great company with great music. And a quick hint to anyone going to see Yard Act, take a 50p coin with you, you never know when you’ll need it.
Jodie Averis and Jake Longhurst
Edited by: Amrit Virdi