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Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Live Review: You Animals at The Leadmill and SoYo

Talk about spoiled. Sheffield was treated to two live performances from You Animals - Derby’s finest purveyors of pop - within a few days of each other.

The first of these came in the form of a support slot with Aberdeen’s premier punk-poppers at The Leadmill on Friday night (April 1st). Sadly with Mrs KPL in tow we turned up at the venue in time to catch the opening act of the evening. Sounding and looking more like they should have been playing to a school assembly rather than paying punters, the only thing that can really be said about the act (I’ll refer to them as that as I didn’t bother catching their name) was that the singer could just about carry a tune. Unfortunately the music and lyrics all conformed to Local Band clichés and the set seemed to drag.

It was of course worth it for, what was personally the main attraction of the evening. You Animals had the small stage decorated with a couple of lampshades and ripped straight into superb album opener ‘Theme From You Animals’. Instantly brilliant the energetic sound of the record was brilliantly translated, with frontman Ryan’s eyes piercing out from under his fringe. With the set picking out the quicker songs from their forthcoming album Crimes, Creeps & Thrills all eyes were on Ryan who easily became the focus, with his five bandmates confined by the small stage.

With multiple punters already knowing the words to the songs You Animals closed with the epic album finisher ‘Shotgun Valentine’ and the perfect set was topped off by my picking up of a postcard to find this very site quoted on it. Sadly the gig for KPL ended there. A (rare) visit from a London based friend meant that we couldn’t stay for The Xcerts, so let’s just assume that they were really bloody ace. Because they usually are!

You Animals didn’t leave us long however. The money that KPL put into the merch stand to buy a copy of their album on CD managed to get the band to the next date on their Xcerts tour and from that they graced Sheffield again on Monday (April 4th) for a free show at SoYo. Another show where, sadly, the band on immediately before You Animals did nothing for us. I think they were called The Cartel and were, in short: boringly competent but well versed in Dad rock etiquette. But hey, it was free and it was YA we’d come for. So you’ll be pleased to hear that they even managed to blow their Leadmill set out of the water.

Playing the same songs (albeit in a slightly different order) to those they played a few days previously, Ryan was no longer confined by the boundaries of the stage and clambered across the venue, over sofas, chairs and punters. ‘What A Shame, Lorraine’ and ‘Halfway To Heartbreak’ again proved to be highlights but this time were interrupted on occasion by Ryan hugging, molesting and winding his mic cord around the crowd. A jump from a sofa early on even managed to dislodge a small section of a chic ‘70s light fitting, wich we hope no-one from the venue noticed.

In the living room-like surroundings of SoYo You Animals lamps fit in as much as their punky indiepop stood out, but once again the six-piece demonstrated why it is they’re getting positive press from media outlets across the country and why it is you should really go and see them the next time they hit a city near you.

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