Yak @ YALA 8 – Live Review


After the split of the Maccabees Hugo White announced his record label YALA! Records and the label’s own club night to showcase signed acts and up and coming bands who deserve more recognition.

Tickets are largely desired and I managed to secure some for YALA! 8, an end of year club night with a headline set from Yak.

Hidden under railway arches in Burmondsey, Yala! Is held at Burmomdsey Social Club, a tiny venue which causes punters to get up close and personal. YALA always brings a star studded audience which tonight included White himself and Yannis Philippakis of Foals.

Yak are a band who have a reputation of loud and event filled live sets and tonight was no different. Starting with ‘Harbour The Feeling’ and playing tracks from their debut album Yak showcased their live credentials.

Recent single ‘All I Need is Some Sunshine In My Life’ started off virile moshpits that would continue throughout the set. Playing with a backdrop of black and white movies, public information films and Monty Python-esque cartoons this is a band who truly know their place.

Song such as album title track ‘Alas, Salvation’ truly get the crowd moving until the end. ‘White Carnivore’ and ‘Use Somebody’ provoke a ferocious flailing of limbs. Creating energy in a room like Burmondsey Social Club can often be hard, particularly on a cold winters night but Oli Burslem and co do it with ease.

Frontman Burslem consintently wanders off stage to saunter up and down the bar in a venue that surely can only hold 150 people. This act comes to a head when the frontman with lips like Jagger passes his guitar into the crowd only to find Philippakis for a storming rendering of ‘Hungry Heart’ which continues on for double its recorded time.

Yak are a band who have already proved their worth and can only go on to grow. Tonight’s set truly showed off their skills and how far both Yak and YALA! have to grow. Long live Yak and all they have to offer and long live club nights that mix live music and DJ’s. YALA! have discovered the way future for indie nights and I for one hope they grow and showcase up an coming bands across the country.

Words: Alex Whitmore

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