Live Review: Yellow Days at KOKO London, May 8th 2018
Surrey songwriter shows KOKO the importance of being earnest.
Effortlessly cool Yellow Days frontman George van den Broek is 19, but you wouldn't know it. An emotionally mature and confident performance from the singer-songwriter echoes through a sold out audience at KOKO, with a mix of blues, soul, jazz and R&B filling the iconic Camden venue.
On record, Yellow Days evokes a blend of Mac DeMarco's chilled out tones, Homeshake's synth-y instrumental and King Krule's melancholic aesthetic, so it was interesting to see how the his debut album, Is Everything Okay in Your World?, played out live.
Support comes in the guise of P-RALLEL, and rapper Jeshi, who warms up the crowd with alternative hip-hop, samples from Jeshi's mixtape and emphatic drum-led rap, before Yellow Days emerges to demand full attention.
Opening with “So Terrified of Your Own Mind”, van den Broek's heady guitar, grainy voice and confident stage presence puts the audience at ease and brings the packed room back down to earth.
“Gap in the Clouds” shows off Van den Broek's impressive range. His wavering highs and lows contrast with bass-y synth keeping his subject matter – anxiety and romance – fresh, intriguing and undeniably earnest.
The addition of a trumpeter, and guest MC mid-way through the set justifies the varied support acts and brings the energy up. As does the constantly changing coloured lights on set – possibly a nod to the reference of synaesthesia (the concept of having involuntary sensory experiences that inspired the band's name).
With the lights dimmed on stage after his set, the crowd waits for him to come back. Van den Broek doesn't disappoint with an encore, saying: “Well, I haven't got anywhere else to be.” The fitting choice of “Nothing's Going to Keep Me Down” rounds out the show with a chilled, low-tempo crowd pleaser.
A number of sell-out shows in the US and the UK leg of his tour, and with festival season approaching, he's got a big summer ahead, and is certainly one to watch.
Watch the video for Yellow Days - 'The Way Things Change' below