Live Review: Young Guns, Warehouse 23, Wakefield, 22.10.15

While many people in tonight’s crowd are still wondering what one of the leading bands in the UK’s rock contingent are doing in grey old Wakefield, its nonetheless exciting when said city is almost religiously omitted from band’s touring cycles.

Vukovi are essentially pop-rock infused with strains of indie- excitably inoffensive, they add a pop of colour to Wakefield’s Warehouse 23 in front of a sparse crowd while people are still filing through the doors. Their cover of Uptown Funk is perhaps slightly cringe-inducing, however it does its job as a song nobody can fail to know the words to, and gets the crowd moving.

Boy Jumps Ship are far more the kind of band you could imagine following in Young Guns’ footsteps. Their music is redolent of early Fall Out Boy, while the vocals are harsher, adding a pop edge to their work that carries definite homages to the likes of Jimmy Eat World and Alien Ant Farm. Songs like Turn Up The Radio, and final song Burn are good signs for this band, especially the latter which is straight up anthemic hard-rock, containing the potential to be successfully commercial.

Over the past couple of years, through the release of their second album Bones, up to now with their newest offering Ones and Zeros, Young Guns have become a force to be reckoned with. However, here they are still trying to shake things up, this time embarking on a tour that takes them to places they’ve never played before. This is why a cold, October evening finds them diving head-first into Rising Up as they take to the stage in Wakefield. As they rattle on through this, followed by Daylight, there is an incredible energy in the room despite the fact the show isn’t sold out. Stitches as ever provides a delicate moment, managing to be poetic yet still audacious in its musical value all at the same time. Frontman Gustav Wood takes a turn on guitar for Lullaby, ‘don’t waste your life away, a black heart’s a noose’ he sings, proving that over time he’s definitely not lost his darkly beautiful way with words. Despite the fact last tour saw the demise of old classic Winter Kiss, thanks to the setlist competition the band ran, it made its triumphant return this time around, to much furore from the fans. The explosive Learn My Lesson rolls into Gravity, which written by guitarist John Taylor, carries a hypnotic quality and provides a dreamlike atmosphere over the participants for tonight’s show for a few minutes. Daughter Of The Sea- the first song Young Guns ever wrote as a band- followed by new album title track Ones and Zeros shows a stark contrast in how far this band really have come. It’s punchy hard-rock, juxtaposed by the absolute enormity of the band’s newer music. It almost feels too soon by the time I Want Out rolls around, preceding Bones, which in all its glory will never ever fail to be anything less than the most fitting and euphoric of set closers.

Their last album, along with this tour proves a couple of things about Young Guns- while they may have a bigger sound, they’ve sold out neither the meaning of their songs- that given everything still carry their poetic allure, nor have they sold out themselves to play the larger venues that they could so easily fill based off their new material. It’s a testament to a band that have come so far, and have been met with such acclaim, that they are still as down to earth as ever, and that they know what’s important. As they leave the stage in a tiny city where bands almost never go, and head back out almost immediately to meet all of their fans, it’s clear that as one of the most vibrant rock bands around at the moment, they are still rooted firmly to the ground.

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