Live at Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, London
The most noticeable trait of Younghusband’s recorded output to this point has been a capacity to explore that area of sound enjoyed by the hazier flirtations of those psych-tinged shoegaze bands we know and love. Playing first tonight, they make a superb noise – if this is the consequence of more time together as a band, it is hopefully foretelling of good things to come on future releases. Repeatedly, we are confronted with beautiful (and beautifully) cohesive climaxes, the culmination of building and layering good tuneful and melodic ideas over equal measure of rampant sonic abandon and solid, powerful rhythm. There are flashes and glimpses of much portentous promise, but also an already-there capability that’s strong enough to greatly impress, to thrill even. Yeti Lane are also quick to impress. Playing to promote their well received second album The Echo Show (recently released through Sonic Cathedral), they seamlessly follow into tonight’s musical footprint but also, somewhat remarkably given their two-man mechanics, show that slim numbers need be no hindrance to what can and will be explored and achieved. The new record certainly, at times, seems to inhabit the same dreamworld as Grandaddy's Sophtware Slump, where soft-brushed vocals laze their days amongst chirruping and bucolic synthesized company - live, the architecture is a little different, a little beefier and bolder - and, like on the occasional break-outs on the album ("Analog Wheel", "Faded Spectrum"), tonight things are let off the leash, and joyously so. Diagrams is the latest project of Tunng's Sam Genders and in all honesty occupies pretty similar ground to the London-based folksters. Perhaps on the more 'tronic side of folktronica and certainly on the more multi-limbed side of collective, this is a multifaceted sound from a multifaceted band that features at least 5 instrumentalists alongside Genders on stage with added off-stage (hidden behind the PA) brass and woodwind. At times reminiscent of a hi-fi Gruff Rhys and at most other times reminding us of the Tunng connection, there's an endearing positivity to everything and a particularly enjoyable moment involving Genders looping his own voice. It's all well received, but lacks the bite and excitement of both supports.