Yuck - Night & Day, Manchester - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Yuck - Night & Day, Manchester

by Steve Rhodes Rating: Release Date:

The Night & Day is a classic North West venue which has been on the wain for some time, with recent upstart Manchester establishments, such as the Deaf Institute and the Ruby Lounge, stealing its thunder and most of the best upcoming bands. It is a nice surprise, therefore, to see the place absolutely heaving on a Friday night for Yuck's debut UK headlining tour.

First up are London-based 2:54 and they provide a nice shoegaze and goth-tinged set. With strong, Siouxsie meets School of Seven Bells vocals, 2:54 channel a similar territory to US noise pop enthusiasts Scarling and exude a confidence that should mean they'll be headlining venues like this in the near future.

Fellow London-dwellers Fanzine are a little nervous, with the lead singer's vocals occasionally veering off territory in the early numbers, and are not helped by the lack of bass coming through in their opening song. However, they grow in confidence and produce an interesting mix of Teenage Fanclub meets Dinosaur Jr fuzz, particularly during the effortless 'Susan'. At other points they resemble the long-lost Blinker the Star or possibly a twee version of Swervedriver. Only the closing number with its rather banal chorus of ''The Holidays are Coming'' - perhaps sending out a message to offer their services to the Coca-Cola empire - disappoints. However, Fanzine produce a thoroughly decent performance.

While both supports enjoy a possibly larger than usual audience, the vast majority are here for the multinational and wonderfully named Yuck. They are rewarded with a simply brilliant performance. Openers 'Holding Out' and 'The Wall' are simple, hood-laden guitar anthems which immediately excite the packed crowd. 'The Wall' is particularly frenzied and gets the audience singing along. With Yo La Tengo and Pavement clear reference points and with subtle influences of Dinosaur Jr, The Chills, The Byrds and even The Wedding Present, Yuck play a deliriously infectious, tight and sonically exhilarating set.

The gig is understandably dominated by songs from their recently released eponymous debut LP and tracks such as 'Suicide Policeman', 'Shook Down' and the jangly 'Georgia' get an excellent airing. It is the closing song though which truly astonishes. Like Codeine fronted by J Mascis covering Joy Division's 'Atmosphere', 'Rubber' is a slow, focused epic that grabs your attention, forces you to nod your head in appreciation and builds perfectly, ending with the right amount of feedback, squall and freaking out, without over-indulging or outstaying its welcome. An emotional but optimistic song which should be played at everyone's funeral.

Yuck are perhaps one of the most refreshing live acts I've seen in a long time. For a fairly new band to produce an astonishing performance such as this sticks a middle finger at the critics who believe the guitar band is dead. Go and see them. You will be blown away, leave with a smile on your face and at least a half dozen memorable songs implanted in your brain, without minding that they're there. I know I did.

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