The Young Knives – Whelans, Dublin, Easter Sunday 2008

Words: Paulo
Tunes: Kub

When one mentions this band, I find myself drifting back to the summer of ’07 and the U.S. Road trip I did. It was in a quality little music establishment called “Grimey’s”, Nashville, Tennessee (another story!) that I came across the wonderful first album “Voices Of Animals And Men”. It was my good mate, Kub, who encouraged me to buy it and for this I say “Cheers lad”.

Anyway, back to the present! I found myself at the infamous music venue that is Whelan’s of Wexford Street on a cold Easter Sunday accompanied by the aforementioned Kub. Having picked up the second album “Superabundance” earlier in the week and found it to be as good if not better than the debut, I was naturally excited about hearing the tunes live. I hadn’t witnessed them on stage before so I was curious and buzzing!A newspaper article on the previous Friday had recommended the gig and advised, in particular, that anyone in attendance should pay special attention to the ‘in-between-song-banter’!The venue quickly filled up and both Kub and myself were happy to see the back of the support band (called Unicorn something or other). We moved down towards the stage, took up our positions next to the sound desk and watched as the roadies meticulously put the bands gear together.

At approx. 9.30pm the lights went down and a cheer went up as the band took to the stage. Lead singer Henry Dartnall said a quick hello and they were off, opening with the snappy “She’s Attracted To”. I was also off, getting straight into gig pose with air guitar/bass/drums at the ready (sorry, I probably look like a twat but I can’t help it and those who know me well understand what the music buzz does to me!). Having finished the first tune Henry thanked the crowd and dived straight into the ‘in-between-song-banter’ I mentioned earlier. “We’re gonna be playing a lot of songs from our new album which is called Superabundance. We will of course also be peppering the set with all of our chart topping hits!” I turned to Kub and smiled. The tone was set for the evening!

They breezed through singles “Terra Firma” and “Turn Tail” with gay abandon and you could tell they were enjoying themselves. Henry then quipped that it was “great to be back in Whelan’s” and went on to introduce the band – “on bass we have the wonderful House of Lords! And on drums is Oliver”. Now, I was aware of the fact that the bass player held this quirky title but on the night, the lead singers’ reference to him was particularly humorous. What was even more comical was the fact that a few songs later the lead singer went about introducing the band again at which point The House of Lords interjected to inform the “slightly chubby” (he referred to himself as this) Henry that he had already done this. “Oh did I” was his reply, “Well you obviously didn’t say anything when I did as otherwise I wouldn’t have forgotten!” which brought a hearty laugh from the enthralled crowd.

Upon introducing one of the “chart toppers” the lead singer blasted “This is another one of our singles. One of our chart topping, best selling singles. Singles… Singles shmingles… what does it matter? Singles shmingles. I’m not even Jewish by the way”. The House Of Lords then pointed out that his remark was rather racist which led into a lengthy and clown-like debate on racism between the two front men. Henry made some comment about how the House Of Lords doesn’t speak much to him and then comes out with that attack. Without missing a beat, HOL replied, “I can’t ever talk to you backstage because you always have your head buried in ‘Mein Kampf’!” Ouch. All Henry could say was “touche”. “Why can’t all gigs be like this” I thought to myself.

They continued to bang out the tunes with the crowd getting more and more involved as they did so. “Fit 4 U” was then announced as the next song at which point I let out a roar of appreciation that came out very high pitched, sounding like a teenager whose adult vocal chords were breaking in! But I didn’t care. My favourite song of the new album was played to perfection by the boys and it made my night!

Henry then announced that time was closing in on them and that they were coming to their final two tunes. The crowd sighed with disappointment! “However, there is a line drawn under these on the set list with 3 more songs underneath”, he cheekily chirped (one of which was Adam & the Ants ‘Stand & Deliver’ – legendary!). The crowd went bananas and all was OK again!

They finished off with the harmony-tastic “The Decision” and bounced offstage to a barrage of applause and cheers. It left me longing to see them play live again very soon. Whelan’s is just a great little venue too… if only it could play host to every band!

Hot summer… here’s hoping! Hot band… ooooooooohhhh yeah!!!! Mother Nature sighs with relief… for now!

The set list was:

01. She’s Attracted To
02. Counters
03. I Can Hardly See Them
04. Coastguard
05. Terra Firma
06. Rue The Days
07. Rumor Mill
08. Dyed In The Wool
09. Turn Tail
10. Fit 4 U
11. Up All Night
12. Weekends And Bleak Days (Hot Summer)
13. Current Of The River
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
14. Loughborough Suicide
15. Stand And Deliver
16. The Decision

If you want to learn more about this English three-piece, tweed-loving group of geek rockers, go here.

If you want to hear some of their quality tunes (listed below) mixed by Kub, go here.

01. Turn Tail
02. The Decision
03. Walking On The Autobahn
04. Weekends And Bleak Days (Hot Summer)
05. Fit 4 U
06. Dyed In The Wool
07. Here Comes The Rumor Mill
08. English Rose
09. Terra Firma
10. Flies

Finally, Henry in his own words (courtesy of www.myspace.com/theyoungknives):

Thursday, March 13, 2008

“Our new album “Superabundance” is out this week. This is the week to make a difference. If you are sick of rubbish music then stand up and be counted. If it is your birthday next week and you were hoping someone might buy it for you , don’t wait, they have probably bought you a Sugababes (nothing wrong with this, just not the same) record, so get Superabundance immediately. If you think that maybe Young knives have gone a bit crap on their second album, then rest assured, it’s a pretty good record, so take a chance and splash out on Superabundance. If you thought you would just download it for free from the internet, then just don’t, it ruins music for everyone, buy Superabundance (and everyone else’s albums that you were considering stealing). If the tone of this message has put you right off buying our album then a) I’m sorry and b) never pay attention to the pish that spews out of musicians mouths, judge them purely on their music (ie, buy Superabundance). “

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