Frontman Oliver Henry Burslem is a figure cut from a different age - all golden curls and Jagger pout - a 70s rock star with no idea of his place in 2018.
A night of riotous rock n roll at Brighton’s most rough and ready venue The Haunt begins, rather aptly by negotiating our way past the bouncers after guest list went awry. Tonight’s line up consists of two bands that are making waves through their strong live show, Yak with support in the guise of Sons of Raphael.
The openers are London brothers Loral and Ronnel Raphael - the aptly named Sons of Raphael. The band have been creating waves with their live act since 2017 and their recent debut EP A Nation of Bloodsuckers released in September via Because Music, only increased the palpable excitement. Looking like a cross between Roy Orbison and MC5 and sounding like My Bloody Valentine they whip the crowd into sufficient excitement to suggest their rising significance.
Headliners Yak have been bringing their chaotic indie rock to ever increasing crowds since 2014. Their 2016 debut album Alas Salvation was released to much fanfare from the indie presses and with a near-legendary live show, their recent transition to a major label - Virgin EMI - the band look set to make that transition to major status.
The band plug in and immediately set off whipping the crowd into a mass pogoing mosh pit. Frontman Oliver Henry Burslem is a figure cut from a different age - all golden curls and Jagger pout - a 70s rock star with no idea of his place in 2018. Their sound is loose and loud that creates a sense of hedonism and riotous abandon. Burslem’s vocals are spat, slurred and shouted over the screech of guitars, before giving up entirely and crowd surfing on his amassed devotees. Their style is reminiscent of the wildest 00s bands like The Vines and The Libertines, but it’s that 70s comparison with garage rock and punk that abides.
However, this is a band that are deeply original in their approach and visibly growing in confidence. The transition to a major label might be daunting and potentially a bit premature, but on the basis of tonight’s outing, Yak will take that in their stride.