"Years and Years" in a disused underground station
The Nokia Lumia Live sessions have previously presented some fantastic bands in some pretty unusual and iconic settings. Last years Everything Everything gig was hosted at London’s only remaining Lighthouse, I was unaware London had any Lighthouses, let alone that there was one left!
For this Lumia Live session the setting couldn’t have been more different as Subba-Cultcha was invited down to the now disused Aldwych Underground station to see Years and Years.
I was pretty excited about the gig for a couple of reasons; first off we’d just interviewed Olly from the band and from everything he’d said, Years and Years are at a very exciting place in the development of their musical journey so I was looking forward to hearing some of the new tracks he'd mentioned.
Secondly, I’ve never been to a gig in an underground station and I was weirdly intrigued as to how it was going to be set up and more importantly how it was going to sound.
The outcome was a little bit of a mixed bag...
Now just to be very clear Years and Years are fantastic in my opinion. The combination of Olly’s soulful and powerful voice mixed with Michael and Emre on synth and guitar are fantastic. Watching the three of them in action is an absolute treat as there is a sense of energy and excitement that is totally absorbing.
“Take Shelter”, one of the new tracks didn’t disappoint and thrown into the set was a cover of Sean Paul and Blu Cantrel's “Breathe” which was simply brilliant. I have to admit I’m a big fan of the original track and although I was surprised to hear Years and Years cover it, I think the best description of the end result was they nailed it!
To finish off the set the trio performed what everyone was looking forward to, a live rendition of “Real” the track that has propelled them into the lime-light. I was introduced to the band through this track and the live version is a delight to behold. The bands delivery was perfect and the crowd reacted accordingly. On the whole I couldn’t fault Years and Years, they were exciting, engaging and fun to watch and there are undoubtedly big things ahead for the band.
To watch a video of the gig click the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaMWZT6CM3w
The only downside for me was coming back to my second point, the location. I had high hopes for experiencing music in an iconic environment but unfortunately the location didn’t deliver. The band were set up on some steps leading up from the ticket hall which although it elevated them for ease of viewing there was an incredibly small area for anyone to be able to see them without having to pear around one of the walls leading to the stairs.
There were a couple of benefits to being in such a tight space. The gig felt incredibly intimate and it genuinely felt like the audience were the selected few (which of course we were). The sound was also almost hypnotic as both the intimacy of the venue coupled with the echoes bouncing off the tiled wales produced wave after wave of mesmerizing enjoyment.
So to sum the experience up, do go and see Years and Years they are superb, however it’s not necessary to do it in a tube station unless you’re on your daily commute. I for one am very much looking forward to their forthcoming album, it doesn’t sound like it will disappoint!