YOUNG FATHERS – 23/01/2019

Manchester’s Albert Hall is a stunning venue, hidden behind a labyrinth of stairways; upon entering there is a euphoric feeling of true divinity. A Wesleyan chapel that adds a holy atmosphere to any event it hosts. Which in turn made Young Fathers feel only like a superlative Scottish sermon from start to finish.

I am relatively ignorant to much of the Young Fathers back catalogue, however I can guarantee if anyone who had never been to live performance attended a Young Fathers show, they too would feel the need to become a music journalist (blog-writer, lets not get too ahead of ourselves), much like myself.

2018 saw the release of the groups third full-length LP Cocoa Sugar, and is much to my self-righteous shame the first time I heard them (aside from a Massive Attack collaboration). The overwhelming response to songs such as Toy and In My View proved the sheer virtuosity of the album.

Due to this show coming after a cancellation from late last year, I was already sceptical as to how the night would pan out, assuming there to be an apology before kicking things off. This was not the case. Coming on stage half an hour after the listed set time, then a brief intro with Get Started then pounding into Wire only proved the power the group have. All wrongdoings had been forgiven.

Young Fathers have an image, and an aesthetic style, which made the performance feel like a perfectly rehearsed music video with strobe lighting, silhouettes and freakout dancing creating a beautifully disturbing atmosphere, that is usually only found in a Gaspar Noé film.

Some of the more uplifting moments of the night came from the tender songs in the setlist such as Lord, which cleansed the soul of all sin as the house lights raised and the hands of the crowd followed.

The night ended after an almost perfect hour with fan favourite Shame, which I assume left everyone with a cliché desire for something more. Instead all lights went off and the group slowly left the stage, one by one. Leaving nothing but darkness and a few minutes of throbbing modular synths to leave a ringing in your ears giving you time to comprehend what you just saw.

Ultimately I still stand by my ignorance, and might not delve deeper into the group’s music. However the music has an innate ability to capture an atmosphere, upheld by a stunningly well-arranged performance and will leave, I hope, a night I won’t be forgetting too soon.

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