Wednesday 16 March 2011

Faint Introduction By Yuck

Accompanying the release of their forthcoming self-titled debut album Yuck are playing some club gigs across Europe to promote it. Their grungy sound and loud guitars are very suitable for some energetic performances. But their performance earlier on London Calling in November was greeted with a bit of scepticism. Time to find out if they have spiced it up since then.

Yuck at Paradiso Amsterdam, March 10 2010 (Ronald Says 6 out of 10)

Instead of kicking off at 22.00 the band are still setting up their gear followed by the sound check. The smaller stage of the venue is nicely filled due to the fact that tickets for an earlier show of Hjaltalin are also valid for this one. A simple self painted banner shows the name of the band with the 'Y' in the shape of a piece sign or a chicken foot. Hopefully they will show some violence on stage though.

It doesn't look like that. The members of the band are sticking to their spot on the stage and don't move around much. The notable appearance of drummer Jonny Rogoff with his big afro is tucked away in the back and mostly in the dark. Bass player Marika Doi is looking stoically to the ground from behind the curtain of hair hanging in front of her face. And singer Daniel Blumberg is standing in a corner below a spot light in a kind of bent posture most of the times. Most active player is guitarist Max Bloom who moves around now and then, but he is mostly in the dark as well because of the minimal stage lighting. At some point in the short set they all move closer to the drummer which results in a more vivid and less rigid performance for a short while.

This may sound like the whole thing is a big let-down. But there's a lot that makes up for the lack of energy on stage and that's the music itself. The songs of the upcoming album still sound great live. Songs like 'Get Away' and 'Stutter' retain their power and 'Georgia' seems to have grown even more. Like on the record they close the set with the long but interesting 'Rubber'. Sometimes when they show their softer side it does come dangerously close to false teenage pop romanticism, but what else can you expect from these young musicians?

Yuck does seem to have big potential and are capable of playing some great songs that sound rough and noisy. But they need to spice up some of them and especially show a lot more energy on stage if they want to convince many people. Otherwise a longer set will even get dreary in the end. Maybe they have to grow into their role of upcoming superstars and will be too big for these venues in a few years.

More Pictures (a bit dark but couldn't get better shots because of low stage lighting).

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