Review: Whenyoung at Heartbreakers, Southampton

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80%
80
Fun

Energetic and carefree, whenyoung’s set was a memorable and uplifting one.

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It was a Saturday night at Heartbreakers and Haze started the evening off strong, the first of two supports before the headlining trio Whenyoung were set to hit the stage, with their fairy-lit name in long red letters hung as a backdrop waiting for them. Haze’s insatiable half-singing, half-ranting post punk gave the audience delicious and dirty guitar hooks with distortion to create their twisted tunes. With the last-minute addition of Freya Beer – accompanied by drummer Steve Dight – the audience got a commanding stage presence with relentless guitar and poetical lyrics, with the highlight being her unrecognisable cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’. Either group’s tunes could easily find a home on a Peaky Blinders ep.

Whenyoung have had quite a year, and watching them perform live, you can see why. When the tight-knit boiler suit troop took to the stage the liberation began. The night had been a long one; not kicking off until 9.30 as per Club Psychedelia’s schedule, half the room were dead drunk and half the room were just soaking up the atmosphere. When they got going, though, the crowd found a happy medium. I hadn’t realised how easy all their songs were to bop along to, and I think that’s just how they planned it.

They played a lot of new stuff, which will, fingers crossed, all make its way onto a highly anticipated full-length album (the next step after the year’s gigs are through), as well as songs from their EP Given Up, set for release on 9th November. High energy from start to finish, new tunes ‘Labours of Love’ and ‘Closer’ were triumphant, while songs like ‘Actor’ and ‘Pretty Pure’ provided some playful escapism. You’ve got Aoife’s sharp and mesmerising vocals, Niall moving about the stage with his guitar in a dream and Andrew’s light and busy percussion. By the end of their set, playing for their last song the title track of the new EP, ‘Given Up’, they’d created their own fun and inviting world that everyone was actively a part of.

As the last stop on their headline tour, the night was a joyous success, pulled from the brink of drunken doldrums to infectious and heady heights. The band’s mixture of staccato indie pop and heavier hints of rock made for the perfect blend of an evening, and all eyes will be on them next year after their steady string of singles and awesome live performances. I already want to see them again, but I’ll settle for that LP first.

Check out whenyoung’s other tour dates here, and watch the music video for ‘Actor’ below.

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Fourth year French and English student and 2018/19 Live Editor for The Edge.

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