Photo: Peter Moylan
October 27 2016
Words: Izzy B
It's always a helluva night when YAK take to the stage, and playing a headline set at a prime London hometown venue for the final show of their present tour, it was on the cards they would pull out all the stops of excellence, or as the band posted on their Facebook page earlier in the day: "It's gonna be trousers around your ankles stuff!"
There is an immediate sense of a big night when the alt-rock trio become a quartet as they kick off with 'Harbour The Feeling' and are joined by a sax player to augment the scuzzy deluge that emanates as the crowd settles relishes the onslaught of grinding riffs and crashing percussion from drummer Elliot Rawson, and heavy duty basslines via Andy Jones. YAK are par excellence when it comes to putting on a show, and Oli Burslem leads from the front in indomitable style as he gives up his trademark yowls on the likes of 'Curtain Twitcher', 'Heavens Above' - and, of course, stage dives into the ready and waiting moshing front rows, somehow still managing to not only hang on to guitar, but continue playing as well.
Photo: Matteo Lupi
'Smile', 'Alas Salvation', ‘Victorious’, a frenzied version of King Crimson's ’21st Century Schizoid Man’ and newest song ‘Semi-Automatic’, all explode around the room like incendiary rockets, working the crowd into one hot, sweating mass, which by ‘Use Somebody’ has escalated into seismic proportions. The guitar-fest sprawl of encore 'No', sees Burslem's bellowing of “No, No, No" as he stands majestically eyeing the throng from the barrier before throwing himself into their midst for a final time before being hauled back to the stage by security via his mic lead.
YAK are undoubtedly masters of the live performance, and while - thankfully - audience trousers remained firmly in place, the set itself was jaw-dropping.