YUCK LIVE REVIEW: Live at the Thekla Bristol with Let’s Wrestle as support

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A much looked forward to gig to see these two bands.  I have been thwarted in my attempt to see Lets Wrestle twice in recent times, so to see them on the support bill was a pleasurable surprise.

Lets Wrestle are from London, England and the band consists of Wesley Patrick Gonzalez (vocals and guitar), Sam Pillay (bass), and Darkus Bishop (drums), a 3 piece that makes a lot of noise!

I have heard some of their music on various late night radio programmes and have intrigued me with their loud, rough around the edges sound and sense of humour.

Sadly, due to the early start, we arrived a little late and Lets Wrestle were already on stage.  At first I have to admit that I was a little underwhelmed by what I heard.  The first thing that struck me was just how out of tune Wesley’s voice was.  The whole band sounded very ordinary, more like an average pub band than a cutting edge outfit.

However, my impression gradually began to change as the set continued.  The songs were fast and furious on the whole, with a kind of nod to the rawness of new wave music of the late 1970’s, with a slightly updated edition.  What struck me most was the way the guitar playing really gave the music an individualistic feel about it, and contributed most musically to the songs.

The set got better and better with the stand out tracks for me being “Insects” and “Prick stuck in my zipper”.  The latter’s lyrics being being quite amusing.

After a 30 minute set I had warmed to them quite a bit, but my reservations remain.  If you are 16 and have never heard the array of new wave music around then this would be most entertaining.  In truth however, at present, Lets Wrestle have little innovative to offer the discerning music lover.

After a short interlude Yuckarrived on stage.  Yuck are Daniel Blumberg –guitar, vocals;  Max Bloom – guitar, vocals; Mariko Doi – bass; Jonny Rogoff – drums.

Their set began with Holing Out from the new album.  The crowd were immediately into the occasion and Big Jeff was there doing his bit for band relations.

Its funny how the talk of the evening very quickly turns to the fact that the venue is a boat!  Many bands find it quite a novelty to play on a boat and below the water line.  And so it proved with Yuck, who also made their acquaintance with Big Jeff as the local celebrity.

I’m sure the novelty factor has also aided the venue get on the short list of the best small venue in the NME magazine.

Back to the gig and the band were frankly superb.  From the moment they hit the stage the crowd were transfixed by the wonderful vocals that complement the more abrasive music.  His vocals are delicate and softly sung behind the music.  What transfixed me the most was the intricate guitar playing of Max Bloom.  It was an excellent show of intricate interwoven guitar playing combined with Daniel Blumberg’s guitar playing.

Then only possible criticism of this band is that the set seemed too short, it went like a flash finishing under an hour.  But this simply is testament to just how good they were and how much the crowd was enjoying it.

Much of their material comes from their first album released earlier this year, self titled it had a lot of critical praise as our YUCK Album  review shows. Despite their obvious nod to the likes of 80’s indie, the Mary Chain and so on, they don’t just copy the genre but put their stamp to it and evolve the sound.  They do it fantastically well and their live interpretation of the songs is superb.

They played one new song – Milkshake not on the album which went down well.

They also played one other not on the album that was on the b side of Holing Out – Coconut Bible.

In the end though the set had to end, and it ended on a high with Rubber, a previous single and a musical, feedback frenzy at the end to finish the gig.

Surprisingly, they did not come back for an encore, which was a big disappointment for the crowd who wanted more.  But this only makes me admire them all the more!

Set List:

Holing Out
The Wall
Shook Down
Georgia
Suicide Policeman
Milkshake
Get away
Suck
Coconut Bible
Operation
Rubber

There were too many stand out tracks to idly pick one or two, my advice would be to get to see them live and definitely pick up a copy of their album.

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