Young Knives, 02 Academy Newcastle 16th May

(originally posted at http://www.hivemag.com, yes I feeding you filler again whilst I’ve been busy with exams. It’ll all be over soon!)

Despite having been to the O2 Academy numerous times, I can never find it when I need to, hence us arriving at the gig on the last song of first support band Flash Fiction’s set. From what I heard they were exactly what I was expecting as a support band for Young Knives, but they were instantly forgettable. And I wasn’t even the only person that thought this, as Young Knives bass player House Of Lords managed to forget their name when discussing it with the crowd, made even worse by the fact he was chastising us for missing them.

Second supports of the night The Neat were a much brighter prospect. Signed to Chewing Gum Records and hailing from Hull, their brand of post-punk pop is brilliant compared to some of the Britpop inspired durge that is assaulting our ears at the minute. At times capturing the vocal mannerisms of Mark E Smith and the dancing of Ian Curtis, debut single ‘In Youth Is Pleasure’ rattled along, and would have got the crowd dancing had their feet not been stuck to the floor. ‘Chinese Sun’ sounded like an anthem in waiting, albeit having a very similar guitar line to ‘Bohemian Like You’. Other highlights of the set included ‘New Kids’ and latest single ‘Hips’ is a very danceable, almost call to arms song. In simpler terms, The Neat were fantastic, and a must see live band.

With this being the first night of the Artrocker supported tour, nerves were to be expected but ever the professionals they never appeared for the Young Knives. In fact the gig felt less like a gig and more like a comedy show, or even just banter between mates. Opening with one of my favourite tracks of theirs ‘Terra Firma’, the set was a the perfect combination of known and loved tracks and tracks from the new album ‘Ornaments From The Silver Arcade’. First single from it ‘Love My Name’ may not have been the stand out track on the album (we’ll come to that later) but brought to life live on stage it was far better than I could imagine and making me wonder how it had been four years since I last saw them. Dropping in most of the old favourites early on in the set such as ‘Weekends and Bleak Days’and ‘Turn Tail’ the crowds’ appetite was clearly whetted not just for these but for the new album too. And the band’s surprise at playing to a big a crowd as they did was clearly visible, and managed to be fitted into their chat between Noel Gallagher impressions and setting up their own incestuous porn channel, and joking about doing a Stone Roses cover (Waterfall to be exact). But the joint highlights of the night were ‘Human Again’ from the latest album and the encore including my all time favourite track of theirs ‘The Decision’. The former being a new art-rock anthem, and the latter being, in my opinion, one of the best tacks written in the past 10 years. The only disappointment of the night was the exclusion of the also brilliant ‘She’s Attracted To’, and of course the unfortunate end to the night, despite the crowds pleas.

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