The Young Knives
About the gig
Set to storm this years summer festivals, the last 100 Club gig saw The Rakes, The Young Knives and The Rifles play out one of the best Subculture gigs yet. All set to the genius DJ'ing of the legendary Terry Hall (The Specials, Fun Boy Three, Colourfield).
With a huge queue forming outside the 100 Club by 7.30pm – The Rifles kicked off the evening with a pounding and incendiary set as soon as the everyone had got into the 100. The music industry rumour mill has been buzzing about how good this band have got so quickly – they aren’t wrong.
Next up, The Young Knives with their deliciously quirky and infectious riffs, lyrics, hair, clothes – everything really! Art rock delivered with a sly grin and irreverent attitude. A series of cleverly crafted songs and the anthem of the summer festivals - 'Hot, hot Summer' - the crowd were well and truly warmed up for........
The Rakes, who bound on to the stage with the cocksure assuredness of a band who are now regularly selling out 3,000 capacity venues. Playing as tightly as ever, alongside with the mesmeric jerkings of Alan the lead singer – they caned their way through the set. Set to a back drop of chanting, stage diving and wry on-stage quips - they rocked it.
About the band
Brothers Henry Dartnall and The House Of Lords, and their good chum Oliver Askew hail from Ashby-de-la-Zouch. They grew up together, formed a band, played bad funk and jumped off hay bails. Since those whimsical days, TYK decided to make a break from the Midlands and headed for the rock'n'roll capital Oxford City, home of students, tourists and bicycles. They cut their hair and listened to Pere Ubu, Wire and Television Personalities and developed the world of The Young Knives, a hybrid of The Good Life, tank tops and quintessential British pop.
In 2005 Andy Gill (Gang of Four) discovered the band and started raving about them. The band soon went into the studio with Andy to produce their EP. Then Supergrass personally asked the band to support them, The Futureheads ranked them in their Top Ten acts in Dazed & Confused‚ (Ross Millard continues to wear his TYK t-shirt), and British Sea Power and Clor became fans. Then Tom Vek requested they tour with him. Then hotly tipped indie label Transgressive Records (who previously signed singles with Mystery Jets and The Subways, and whose Tim Dellow originally co-founded Trash Aesthetics the launch-pad for acts such as new V2 signings The Rakes and Bloc Party) fell in love with them and signed them for their first ever EP. Crikey!
So why all the fuss? Transgressive explains:
"They are subtle genius awkward chords, bad suits, an eccentrically-named bassist and with a repertoire of instant, jerky pop songs that infest your brain. For all the wry, Brit humour in their songs, there's a great, innocent charm, both naïve and brooding in a uniquely combative manner. They're a band whose irreverence and genuine eccentricity doesn't outweigh their ability to write truly memorable, anthemic songs that could really appeal to the masses."
Toby L, Transgressive Records.
Gigwise.com June 2006
2006 is fast becoming a hot, hot year for our tweed suit wearing troubadours The Young Knives. The unlikely looking indie heroes have been plying their trade for over four years now and following a spate of fan-bloody-tastic singles, they're ready to unleash their beast of a debut album 'Voices of Animals and Men'. Gigwise cathes up with band lynchpin and bassist House of Lords shortly after their triumphant June tour of the UK and he’s in a fine mood. Reflectin on one particularly memorable gig at the London Scala, he muses about the stage invasion. "It was certainly the most manic gig on the tour. I had to give away my bottles of water to all the people at the front because they were all getting a bit dehydrated and crushed". And we can understand what the commotion was about.
Very rock 'n' roll. Another highlight for Mr Lords, is their show stealing performance on Jools Holland. He beams: "It was very nerve wracking because I felt a bit fake being there. It's one of those things that you always talk about doing half jokingly and then to actually be there with people who've been doing it for years, it was awesome". Afterwards, mingling with the stars, They also got to chat with Kinks legend Ray Davies who appeared on the evening. "I spoke to him really briefly. He came over and said that we were a good band. I can't think of a better compliment."
Academy 3, Manchester June 06, Rating 8/10
Launching into 'Part Timer' the band demonstrated why we were all there to see them. Art rock, indie pop, whatever you want to call it, you can't take away from the fact that The Young Knives make you dance and sound absolutely brilliant. Following came 'Dialing Darling', complete with high vocals and jerky riffs from singer/guitarist Henry, perfect harmonies from singer/bassist House and a beat that can only be called the backbone of this band from drummer Ollie. Even those in the crowd who were not familiar with 'Dialing Darling' or other tracks on the set list which came from The Young Knives earlier EPs, Junky Music Make My Heart Beat Faster and The Young Knives Are Dead could not refrain from dancing lots. Eventually, this mass dance-along produced a few stage invasions, most noticeably during current single 'She's Attracted To'. The crowd yelled "you were screaming at your mum and I was punching your dad!" and Henry passed his microphone to those at the front, letting them loose. Clearly the highlight of the night for most.
After much rescheduling, I think the crowd was just happy that the gig still went ahead, despite interruptions from one Mr. Jools Holland and his Later TV programme."Hot summer, what a bummer" had to be the best lyrics uttered during the night. Far too enjoyable to be possible, 'Weekends And Bleak Days' was performed with vast liveliness and great enthusiasm, especially for the last song on their written set list.
After much cheering and protesting from the crowd, The Young Knives returned to the stage for two more songs: B-side 'Elaine' and EP song 'Walking On The Autobahn'. After their final song I wished that I could rewind and watch it all over again, just because they were that good.