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Lust For Youth - Broadcast, Glasgow 23/09/14

24 September 2014, 11:12 | Written by Andrew Hannah

The break in the clouds has disappeared, someone’s rolled the stone back over the cave opening, and the blinds have been closed over once more.

That’s the feeling I have in the wake of seeing Hannes Norrvide’s Lust For Youth play a show in support of their new album International. On reviewing the Swedes’ third record, I professed it was a signal that the band were emerging into the sunshine, slowly but surely...yet tonight, with the three-piece bathed in darkroom-red light for the whole set it felt like Norrvide was retreating back into the shadows.

The “retreat” doesn’t signal defeat, or a sign that this show was anything but a brilliant performance from the cool Swedes – perhaps Norrvide just doesn’t fancy brightness (literally or metaphorically) in his music. After being surprised by how upfront his vocals were on International, tonight it sounds once again like Norrvide is singing from next door; the voice is buried low in the mix, drenched in reverb so that his sing-yelp appears to match the way he sways across the stage, hand occasionally on hip in a show of casual insouciance. It means tracks like the morbid “Chasing the Light” (from the 12” of the same name), with its agitated Depeche Mode-esque beat, becomes the focus alongside “Breaking Silence”, from A Perfect View, whose sadness seems amplified in the dank basement of Broadcast. Remember, this is a band, after all, that took the title “Ecstasy” and somehow bled all the colour and euphoria from it to create a dark, foreboding new wave song.

That trick is pulled again by Norrvide with songs from International; “New Boys”, the most gloriously poppy moment on that album, is inverted to become a darkwave dirge with only fleeting glimpses of sunlight being caught during the wonderful chorus, the chiming “Illume” seems transformed and muscular, replacing the tropical synths with something less colourful and more akin to icy Gothic, while the glorious “Epoetin Alfa” remains just that, but it perhaps echoes just that little bit more, not quite as clean as found on record. The influence of Loke Rahbek and Malthe Fisher can’t be discounted here, Norrvide’s band mates providing a brilliant guitar and synth backing to his disconnected stage presence.

I think, though, the bleakness suits Lust For Youth; they never come across as morose (serious, very much so) and they appear to be attempting to strike a balance between shimmering light and sumptuous, heavy shade. Tonight was more of a glimpse into a tempting darkness, and in time we’ll discover there’s a way out of the black. For now, embrace it.

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