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Yak review: Yak possess a truly visceral and destructive live presence both visually and sonically

PUBLISHED: 09:55 01 April 2019

Yak headlining Norwich Arts Centre. Picture: Ed Budds

Yak headlining Norwich Arts Centre. Picture: Ed Budds

Ed Budds

Wolverhampton's hard rocking three-piece Yak have been itching to get back on the road since the release of their sophomore album, Pursuit of Momentary Happiness, which was released in February this year via Jack White's prestigious label Third Man Records.

Yak headlining Norwich Arts Centre. Picture: Ed BuddsYak headlining Norwich Arts Centre. Picture: Ed Budds

This is therefore the first chance fans have had to hear most of the songs from the excellent new record, giving the setlist a fresh and invigorating new dynamic in amongst their older fan favourites.

Rumblings of disharmony and difficulty in the creative process between records is now long forgotten as the band arrive in Norwich on night two of their current UK run.

Lead vocalist and overlord of chaos for the night is Oliver Henry Burslem and he’s on absolutely incendiary form. Limbs fly at all angles as he and bassist Vincent Davies thrash around the stage weaving in and out of each other to the waves of fuzzy distortion and thunderous beats of drummer Elliot Rawson.

Recent single Bellyache is a vintage glam rock stomper, groovier than any previous material, and has the electric frontman dancing up and down on his wah pedal.

Yak headlining Norwich Arts Centre. Picture: Ed BuddsYak headlining Norwich Arts Centre. Picture: Ed Budds

Their second album saw the trio embrace a more psychedelic feel and both the title track and slow building ballad Words Fail Me rise to a gloriously trippy crescendo of noise rock.

The ferocious riffs of Fried and Blinded by the Lies are deployed midway through the set to feverous reaction from the frenzied crowd. A sweat drenched and bare footed Burslem screams into the front rows as he surveys the chaos unfolding below him.

With the unhinged swagger of The Doors and the distorted fuzz and pop hooks of early Tame Impala, Yak then rattle through Harbour the Feeling, Alas Salvation and Smile from their debut album - each still packing an almighty punch.

All the new songs go down a storm too but White Male Carnivore is an entirely different beast. The bruising guitars make way for an almost satanic sounding rendition of ‘He’s got the whole world in his hands’ before the final chorus. This makes for a remarkable spectacle as the entire room chants back every word in this cavernous church like venue.

Yak possess a truly visceral and destructive live presence both visually and sonically that has been crafted from years of heavy touring. The rest of these shows will undoubtedly cement this fearsome reputation as they sweep across the country in a whirlwind of true Rock ‘n’ Roll.

• For more Norwich music check out our dedicated page every Thursday in the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News or follow Enjoy Music More on Twitter and Instagram

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