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WHENYOUNG Press Shot resized

whenyoung shimmer at Scala

15 October 2019, 18:33 | Written by Ellie Desborough

Irish indie hopefuls whenyoung stopped off at Scala on the UK leg of their 2019 tour, ahead of their upcoming support slots with The Libertines next month.

Taking to the stage with a set dominated by debut album ‘Reasons To Dream’, there were earworms and indie-bops a plenty. The crowd may have needed a bit of encouragement, but after opener ‘Pretty Pure’ the energy was high. ‘Blank Walls’, ‘The Others’ and ‘Never Let Go’ proved to be particular favourites.

On paper, whenyoung could be brushed off as just another indie band. But scratch the surface and there’s more than meets the ear. Before playing ‘Future’, frontwoman Aoife Power explains that it is dedicated to a friend’s suicide, and addresess the atrocity of Grenfell Tower with not only their ‘Grenfell Never Again’ t-shirts, but with track ‘The Others’.

Bringing down the tempo mid-set, the plod of 'Blow Up The World' was followed by the anthemic rush of 'Something Sweet'. However, any misplaced atmosphere was recovered in bucketloads with ‘Sleeper’ in the encore. Backed by just an acoustic guitar and gentle cymbal rolls, Power was not afraid to let her soaring vocals swell and command the entire room, entrancing everyone into mesmerized silence.

The highlight of the night was not the music or even the performance: it was the overwhelming sense of community. The band’s engagement with their audience was truly something special. Power and guitarist Niall Burns regularly chatted to the crowd, jumping down to the barrier to let fans sing, and drummer Andrew Flood even started a football chant. Right from the very beginning, which kicked off with a home-video-style visuals on the projector, whenyoung emanate a spectacular ‘we’re all friends here’ energy that feels truly organic.

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