whenyoung @ The Bodega

Michael gives us the low-down on whenyoung's October headline set at The Bodega.

As I entered The Bodega with two friends for the first time since the start of summer, the familiar feeling of this great venue returned to me instantly. The room was filled with like-minded people all here for the same purpose – to listen to fantastic live music. After heading to the bar for a classic Bodega Lager, we made our way to the centre for the perfect viewing experience of what was about to ensue. Having seen whenyoung live for the first time at Nottingham’s very own Rock City earlier in the year, I knew I was in for an absolute treat.

The night started off with support from Abbie Ozard. With chilled out vocals accompanied by soothing guitar licks and powerful but laid-back basslines, this was the perfect start to the evening, with an introduction to a band I knew I'd return to in future.

Ten minutes later and it was time for the main event – whenyoung. The room was filling up, the atmosphere was electric, the tension was unbearable. All of a sudden the definite sound of their intro started ringing through the venue. It was time.

"With their distinctive vocals and guitar licks, they manage to layer their songs with texture and melodies to the point of perfection."

Opening the set with Pretty Pure, the crowd instantly started jumping about, with matched energy from the band. The room was alive, as if this was the moment everyone had been waiting for their entire life. The unmistakeable sound of Aoife Power's vocals echoed through the room, and I was instantly taken to a place of happiness and serenity – as if all the problems in the world just drifted away at the sound of the first note.

Following with the likes of The Others, strong rhythms and clean drumbeats simmered throughout the room from song to songh. The way that the melodies on the guitar worked in perfect harmony with the vocals was just pure heaven, and made for a thoroughly enjoyable musical experience beyond the band's outstanding studio material.

From Hare & Hounds, Birmingham. Image courtesy of Nicholas O'Donnell

Before playing another banger (You’re Grand), Aoife opened with some very heartbreaking news. On the day of the gig, they had been to the funeral of a friend who had taken his own life. With a very powerful and moving speech about how everyone should have someone to talk to, should open up about their feelings and about how it's okay to speak your mind, it definitely struck a chord in me on a personal level. They then dedicated the song to their friend, and with a beautiful sound and masses of energy from both the band and the audience, it was simply a fitting tribute.

Continuing on with a fantastic show, the last song of the evening arrived, Never Let Go. With a nice soft intro backed up by a chunky but somewhat relaxed bassline, it was sad to know this would be the last time I would see whenyoung for a while. What followed was a very strong chorus – the whole room vibing along with each other, chanting the words to the song like it was it was going to be their last words ever spoken. And when I thought this is where the night had peaked, on the last chorus the guitarist stage-dived. The crowd went wild as he surfed through them, playing to his utmost ability with audience members dancing and cheering around him. It was a thrilling end to the show.

whenyoung are, in my opinion, a headline act in the realm of indie music. With their distinctive vocals and guitar licks, they manage to layer their songs with texture and melodies to the point of perfection.