Last nights gig saw my first one in Sheffield and the iconic venue that is The Leadmill. A freezing clear night meant that the hat and gloves came in every handy when queueing and it was really lovely to meet up with the photographer and fellow music enthusiast Kaylee (who I'd met seeing The Sheafs earlier in the year) beforehand.
Up first was Rusalka who's first song Martyr in a Moshpit had me smiling. Her set was stripped back with her a her keyboard, so it's very different to her Spotify. She reminded me of Kate Bush a bit as her singing was very ethereal. I managed to video one song so check out below and see what you think. One of her tracks she said she was still developing and so it was a bit hodge podge, but she was having fun with it and music is exactly that. It was a good start!
Then the Scouse bombshell Zuzu. I was well excited and singing my heart out because I love this ladies music (the sound engineer said he could see me singing, and was a fan so he gave me the set list after). I was actually surprised at how many around me hadn't seen her before and she definitely had a new fans afterwards. I videos Can't Be Alone and got some great pics. She was also chatting to people after the show and for me she embodies everything that is great about the north. Lovely, down to earth and approachable. She's a superb performer live and what a voice! See her if you can.... she's only going to be playing bigger and bigger venues and rightly so.
After a very quick turn around (15 minutes) came the one and only Yonaka. Now I had the opportunity to see them at Neighbourhood Festival in Manchester a few weeks ago and I chose not to because I didn't want to spoil the effect of tonights gig and a headlining set. It's a wonderful dilemma to have I know.
The energy, sound and overall presence of this band needs to be experienced to be believed. If you think they're amazing on record (of course they are) you should see them live... Christ on a bike they're fucking insanely brilliant! I'm at a loss for words as to how good the band are but when I say that these are the standard then I say this with all honesty.
From start to finish they gave it all and to experience a band as good as this, from the vantage point I had is as close as you get to musical heaven. Make no mistake Yonaka are monolithically exceptional. From the first chords on the opening track Punchbag to the final note of FWTB the energy was visceral. The love from the band for their Creatures (if you know you know) and our love for them gave the room an energy that was so visceral you could almost see it. I normally try and capture 2 or 3 videos to share the experience and for me to look back as well.. I took 7! So if you'd like to see Punchbag, Awake, Don't Wait 'Til Tomorrow, Bad Company, Creature, Guilty (with a beautiful stripped back version), or All Fired Up then keep scrolling.
I've got goosebumps writing this article just recalling last nights gig in my mind.
They're going to be around for a very long time and have an incredibly successful career. They're this good now and as all bands get better with time, I cannot wait to see Yonaka and hear their new material as their career develops.
I was chatting one of the security lads after the gig and he said that whilst this wasn't his type of music he really liked them, as he likes heavier music. I asked him who and he said Metallica, Slipknott and bands like that. I told him I'd seen Metallica 5 times and they were my first gig (really)... Yonaka have that appeal.
Long live Yonaka!
As per all videos and pics are my own - if you'd like to see the pics Kaylee took then check out her instagram here and give her a follow.