Moho Live, Manchester. 05/05/2010
By Clémence Flamee
The Young Knives are the definition of geek chic. But, behind the thick rimmed specs and bow ties is an equally original style of music. Eight months since their last gig, the band are embarking on a short tour of small intimate venues. My last encounter with them was at Manchester Academy and I was dangerously close to a man wielding a hosepipe. So it comes as a relief to find that tonight the vintage–clad indie crowd at Moho Live is a tad more sedate.
After three support acts, including Manchester band The Manyanas, the crowd started to get restless. When third support “driver drive faster” appear, it is like listening to a recycled, watered down Radiohead with higher pitched vocals. I’ve become more interested in working out if the man behind me, who looks suspiciously like the House Of Lords, was in fact the Young Knives bassist.
Then, in a much understated entrance, with no introduction or announcement, The Young Knives take to the stage. Starting with their classic “She’s Attracted To” they energetically race though a set of brand new unheard material mixed with old school Young Knives favourites. Currently road testing new songs, the audience certainly isn’t let down. The new tracks included “I Love My Name” which the band recently previewed on Myspace, it’s exactly what you’d expect from them, quirky, original and extremely catchy.
Their stage presence is just as entertaining as their lyrics, with frequent banter between brothers Henry and Thomas (The House of Lords.) They continue to soar through a selection of hits, perfectly performing, “Turn Tail” “Up All Night” and “Counters“.
After a raucous encore, they return to play everyone’s favourite shout-a-long track, “Terra Firma”. They may not look the coolest of the indie bunch, but their geeky appearance and unusual lyrics (“you were screaming at your mum and I was punching your dad” – beat that Kate Nash) leave the audience beaming. And, with a forthcoming third studio album, it’s certain that The Young Knives are sharper than ever before.