Live Review: Yashin – O2 Academy 2, Newcastle, November 21st 2009

The penultimate show of a busy, busy year for bonny Scots Yashin sees them pull into Newcastle Academy in the pissing rain. With a killer bill, and a lot of new songs in store, the bad weather’s surely not going to put off what is a near sold-out crowd tonight.

This Way Up
treat the masses to the opening songs of the night, and while their music sounds little more than your usual British pop-rock, (Hello, Saving Aimee, You Me At Six) it’s played pretty sound, and Penelope has a lovely hook to it. The band are even graced with moshpits on occasion, something rare from local openers. Whilst their music is a tad unoriginal, their playing strength is there, and their piano-driven pop-punk goes down a treat.

 

As local noise terrorists This Is Divine‘s lyrics imply, they have come to destroy everything, and destroy they do. The room splits into two, and the pits come out in full force; somewhat lethal, if you were to be on the recieving end of the flailing limbs aplenty adorning the floor. It’s a relentless sound, and one which doesn’t get old quickly; unleashing an Oh, Sleeper-esque vocal onslaught powered by an impressive technical charm from all four extremely tight instrumentalists. Closer Dear Armourer provides the highlight of the set, with many chanting back the opening blast of MY NAME, IS APOLLO…! with glee. They’re due a big break; hopefully it’ll come soon, get out and see them now!

The Noise Explosion don’t seem like a local band, they seem too together, and their songs sound too well-written. Oozing out a Southern-tinged Hardcore similar to Canadian bruisers Cancer Bats, they too keep the energy in the room flowing nicely. It’s fast paced, meaty, and the crowd seem to dig it. Even the occasional cow bell whack makes an appearance, and it’s fair to say whilst unorthodox, The Noise Explosion put a fair lot of oomph into their live performance, and will be ones to watch in the future.

Yashin‘s sound has changed since they recruited their new vocal arsenal; Kev Miles and Harry Radford have added a more poppy, free flowing sound to the Scottish sextet, but before any glimpse’s worth, old favourite Mr. Hyde‘s familiar duel-guitar sound kicks in, and the floor opens. Keeping in with older tradition to kick things off, Tonight We Dance get’s an air, before Mr. Radford jumps into the crowd, who literally mob him for the microphone during a very powerful Heroes. The first new taster comes from new single Hope, which see’s a lot of unison jumping and sounds picture perfect, and previously unheard track Friends In High Places, and it’s fair to say it goes down a storm; it’s opening riff causing stirrs and tearing the room apart. The highlight comes mid-set, with ex-vocalist Mike Rice making a surprise appearance and positively catapulting himself into the audience armed with a mic to belt out fan favourite Dirty Slut. Whilst coming back out vest-less, it’s none the less an emotional moment; a brilliant mix of the old and the new, as all three vocalists power out their words.

If that wasn’t energy enough, then the reception for old track First Rule Of Fight Club certainly grabs it by the neck; encouraged to sing every word back, the crowd do so with no look of boredom, and no less than complete excitement. New track Black Summer get’s an airing, and whilst it slows the energy and the mood down slightly, it still sounds like a fantastic direction for the band to head in. It’s nothing, of course, to the ear-splitting screams greeting the intro of the bands wacky Britney cover. Everytime, complete with it’s own crushing breakdowns, sounds fantastic, and is surely a pick of the night, no matter how cliché pop covers may be. A requested encore sees Remember Me get an outing, and it rounds off a near-perfect set. Whilst newly uploaded-to-MySpace track Let It Go doesn’t get an airing, there’ll be plenty of time for that in the near future, with the album being released in just a few months. It’s an exciting time for Yashin, and tonight is just a small taster of what’s in store.

George Cannings.
Yashin’s new album, Put Your Hands Where I Can See Them, is out in January.
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