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Years & Years play debut headline show at London's Oslo

06 March 2014, 10:29 | Written by George O'Brien

Drawing comparisons with the likes of fellow fresh-faced talents Disclosure and Sam Smith, Years & Years played their first headline show last night at new Hackney hangout Oslo.

With a ready-made gabble of screaming fans, the dance-pop London three-piece immediately steal your attention thanks to their most potent, and all too rare, ingredient: a brilliantly charismatic front-man. With a screen acting career in his armoury, Olly Alexander leads the band – complete with a proper live drummer – with relentless energy and restless enthusiasm, limbering around the small stage and casually interacting with the attentive onlookers, while Mikey Goldsworthy (bass) and Emre Turkmen (synths) bring a tidy and professional nonchalance.

The charisma is not a facade though; it’s backed-up by a spotless honeyed vocal that recalls the aforementioned Critics Choice-winner, best highlighted during a stripped-back piano rendition of current atmospheric b-side “Eyes Shut“, which develops into another funk-filled jam.

And this is when they’re at their best. Undoubtedly the darker elements of the set – nodding to the late-night production of SOHN and Kwabs – bring depth and hints of aggression, but it’s the radio-ready choruses, hand-clapping hooks and moreish melodies that serve Years & Years best.

Real” perfectly proves this point and feels as at home in this Scandi-persuasion bar as it would (and should) on daytime radio. The brilliant breakout single closes the set before a well-earned encore provides another glimpse of their glistening electro-pop. In all, an impressive early outing for a band, quite rightly, on a lot of people’s radars.


Take Shelter
Follow Me
Eyes Shut
Lights On

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