(Photo: Jacqui Palmer)
Gang of Youths have been gaining momentum for a little while now. Earlier this year they released their single ‘Benevolence Riots’, then came their album ‘The Positions’. The lads from Sydney have played Melbourne’s iconic Northcote Social Club before, but never have they sold it out three times. Not only did they sell out all their shows in Melbourne, they’ve been selling out shows around the country.
I first caught Ecca Vandal during her performance at this years Rolling Stone Music Awards in Sydney. The think that stood out the most was not only her eccentric nature, but also her fierce confidence. The thing I love most about her style is that she can go from the extremes of dancehall to punk from song-to-song.
The release of ‘The Positions’ has been gaining critical acclaim from everywhere. Being the band’s debut album, and with the amount of attention they’ve been receiving for a while now, my expectations going the night were high - especially considering that i’ve seen them live a few times now. I’m glad to admit that these expectations were not only met, Gang of Youths exceeded them.
Though they played the vast majority of the album, they also played EP songs and B-sides, including the 2013 released ‘Evangelists’.
‘Magnolia’ - one of the most emotionally charged tracks from ‘The Postions’ - was pure magic to witness live. The crowd stood as frontman Dave Le’aupepe crooned his way through the performance. Though many decided to groove along, a great portion of the crowd preferred to let him tell the story of a personal downfall and heartbreak. An undisputed crowd favourite was an older track ‘Poison Drum’. The uptempo song was a favourite pre-album, and it was obvious from the electricity amongst the crowd as soon as they commenced playing.
The first time I caught Gang Of Youths was was when I caught their support slot for Vampire Weekend. I then witnessed their performance at the very same venue as tonight’s show last August. If there is one thing I have noticed from past performances to their current tour, it’s their believable confidence. They’ve now established a strong fan base, and without a doubt you can go up to any Australian music lover and ask them ‘Do you know who are Gang Of Youths?” and they’ll answer yes. If they don’t - it’s only going to be a matter of before they become aware of their rising greatness.
GANG OF YOUTHS | NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB | 22.5.15
Photographer: Jacqui Palmer