Into the Pit: 097: The Young Gods – Live at Academy Islington – 05-December 2010

Nowadays – and perhaps as always during their twenty-five-year career – the release of a new Young Gods album is an event. A band of unusual standing, a band that don’t really fit in amongst the usual genre descriptions, and frankly have long since had the freedom to record what they like. Which has seen them tackle industrial rock, acoustic laments, ambient electronics, even an album of Kurt Weill material. And recently, an entirely acoustic album, including a few interesting covers, that also included a version of Gasoline Man done on an acoustic guitar or two while walking through Paris…that was better and more thrilling than any industrial version of it.

The Young Gods
supports not reviewed
Live @ O2 Academy, Islington
05 December 2010

So it was perhaps no great surprise to see that the new album Everybody Knows takes the acoustic idea further, and sees the band mellow out. Not totally, mind, but the feel of the album is distinctly different to it’s predecessor “proper” Super Ready/Fragmenté, which was very much of the rock persuasion. It did get me wondering, though – were we to see a subdued show?

Not a chance.

The Young Gods Setlist:
Sirius Business
Tenter le Grillage
No Land’s Man
About Time
Hey Mr. Sunshine
Miles Away
I’m The Drug

C’est Quoi C’est Ça
Once Again

Yes, things started with the ultra-mellow opener to the new album, even if the bass boomed so much more live, but the industrial grind of Tenter le Grillage and the Doors-gone-industrial of No Land’s Man that followed are hardly for relaxing in an armchair to. Intriguingly, though, almost everything from their older albums (Only Heaven and before) was completely ignored, other than the much-changed, long tease of Envoyé that they closed with last time I saw them.

And with a set shorn of so many classic tracks, it allowed unexpected moments to shine. Like the sleek, electronic rush of Supersonic, and an unbelievable, stadium-esque blast through Everythere that was so good I simply can’t do justice to it in words here (this video from another night on the tour might help a bit to articulate what I mean).

Let’s be clear, though – there was not a single bad moment here. Yes, it might have been nice to hear Skinflowers (or Kissing The Sun), but this gig was more about what The Young Gods are now, not what they were. And what they are is, after twenty five years, a unique band, and a fucking phenomenal live band, too.

They left the stage with the statement that they’ll be playing London again in April. I’ll see you down the front.

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