Clap Your Hands Say Yeah / Dr Dog
First up, the fairly rubbishly named support band, Dr Dog. Who really were very good. Lovely, laidback, relaxing songs, a sort of rockier-all-male Magic Numbers. Tuneful, enthusiastic indie pop loveliness all round, with "Wake Up" a standout track. Unoriginal but enjoyable, they were a welcome surprise, and are well worth tracking down.
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah have been getting a burst of the NME-led hype machine recently, although unusually they are a band worthy of the attention. They've been compared to The Arcade Fire, which is an obvious but accurate comparison. Their music is celebratory and atmospheric, melodic and expansive. However (thankfully) I doubt they'll ever reach the commercial heights of their contemporaries. An acquired taste, they require an open mind and repeated listenings to get into. But they are worth the effort.
Tonight's performance can only be summed up as captivating. From start to finish they create an intense emotional sound. The singer's voice is a sticking point with many people, but I think his harsh yelping complements the music well, and live it doesn't dominate the music the way it does on the album. "The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth" & "In This Home On Ice" are stand out tracks tonight, but really the performance can only be viewed as a whole. In fact, the hour they played flew past amazingly fast. They are an odd band, non-communicative with the audience and anonymous looking, but somehow you still feel appreciated as the band do their "show" perfectly and with much enthusiasm. Sadly the audience weren't that responsive or appreciative (and going back & forth to the bar repeatedly rather than concentrating on the gig), perhaps some people were only in attendance due to their reputation, rather than a prior love of their music. This is a shame as the gig sold out in no time, with many CYHSY fans missing out on seeing them. They only really got going during the perfect encore, during "Clap Your Hands!" finally taking the bands advice and applauding an evening of great music. They threw in a couple of new tracks towards the end, including one which basically consisted of singer Alec shouting "Satan" over and over again, which is always great to hear. I had a great time, even if not everyone else did. A refreshingly different, exciting show and even better than I expected. 8/10.
By Alan Smith
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