‘Intense joy with a cherry on top’ - Young Fathers at SWX review

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‘A superb and spectaular performance’

Young Fathers are f**king awesome’ said Bristol legend Big Jeff. It’s great that the Bristol legend - aka Jeff Johns - is back, and that his expertise on a good band is still with him, despite being sidelined for many months after a fire at his home.

As if catapulted to the stage, the band took the energy notch at SWX up to 10 - and instantly broke into hit I Saw which bottles punk energy with a groove and makes you want to march on the spot and sing like you are part of the choir on stage. 

Big Jeff referenced their stage show and onstage chemistry before the gig. Every word Jeff said was true. The band had the type of natural chemistry between them that you can’t manufacture. Their songs are energetic bundles of intense joy with a cherry on top. And they combine dark lyrics delivered in such a way that’s designed to make you move.

The whole show felt very communal, and we all believed we were part of the show. I love it when bands can take serious, challenging lyrics but make them feel triumphant when sung live. They both engaged and enthralled this lively SWX crowd.

The band was joined on stage by singer, songwriter and producer Callum Easter in a fuzzy trench coat  to rock Rice as the band sang the lyric these hands can heal over and over. The lights lit up the crowd as they raised their hands to meet the bands. Joyous.

I bumped into an old friend and asked her if she was a big fan. She replied ‘the song Toy! I heard it and was obsessed and had to see them live’. The band soon launched into Toy and I got exactly what she meant. This is music to shake to - listening to it now whilst writing this and its making me move now.

Young Fathers proved a big hit with the crowd at SWX (Credit: Giulia Spadafora) Young Fathers proved a big hit with the crowd at SWX (Credit: Giulia Spadafora)
Young Fathers proved a big hit with the crowd at SWX (Credit: Giulia Spadafora) | GiuliaSpadafora

Young Fathers transfer energy from them to you, it’s direct and I can’t imagine anyone watching them casually without moving. This band make sense to me now listening back I can feel their energy. I get them, especially the songs from new album Heavy, Heavy. Seeing it and hearing it live it moved  me from on the fence to on the dance floor, and ready to see them next time.

A superb and spectaular performance, dramatic in all the right places. It left me checking when I can see them next and wondering why i havent seen the already!?!

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