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Yeasayer - ICA, London, 6/3/2008

  by Anthony Dhanendran

published: 22 / 3 / 2008



Yeasayer - ICA, London, 6/3/2008

intro

American group Yeasayer meld blues and country with a stadium rock rock sound. Anthony Dhanendran watches the New Yorkers play a hit and miss set at the ICA in London


It's pitch black in the ICA theatre as Yeasayer come on. As befits a band with such theatricality in their music, their stage show begins in a suitably melodramatic fashion. The show that follows is similarly ostentatious, pushing an aggressive folky blues-rock that has its roots on both sides of the Atlantic, and both sides of the Mississippi, even though the band's roots are in urban Brooklyn. While on record the band have echoes of Arcade Fire and Bright Eyes, in concert the appropriate comparison is with the power blues of Led Zeppelin or the Who and, bizarrely, for the first two tracks at least, the vocal theatrics of the Bee Gees. Although they also owe a debt to modern English folk revivalists such as Tunng, you can tell that they're American by the fact that they're dancing from the very start. Singer and keyboard player Chris Keating leaps about in spasms that recall Jarvis Cocker or the preacher of a turn of the century American revivalist church. The band has an excellent, tight rhythm section, which, while not unheard of in folk circles, is certainly something many people forget to consider. In this case, the drums and bass allow the guitarists and keyboards to spin a fine web over a solid base. Keating dances along throughout, and by the end of it he's convinced half the crowd to get in on the act, not an easy task at a London gig. His strange elocution serves to reinforce the preacher image – that and the chant-like backing vocals and worldwide musical influences, from African to European ambient. Melding blues and country with the imperial grandeur of stadium rock, when Yeasayer's sound comes off it's something quite special. This gig showed them at their best, in places, but there were certainly moments during which it dragged, when the ambitious parts didn't quite form a coherent hole. Highlights included recent single '2080' and, surprisingly, new song 'Tight Rope', rather than the rest of the songs from the band's debut album, which constituted the bulk of the set.



Band Links:-
http://blog.yeasayer.net/
https://www.facebook.com/yeasayer
https://twitter.com/yeasayer
https://www.songkick.com/artists/112691-yeasayer
https://www.youtube.com/user/OddBloodTV
https://plus.google.com/114584306783395853744


Picture Gallery:-
Yeasayer - ICA, London, 6/3/2008


Yeasayer - ICA, London, 6/3/2008



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