If you were to describe Whenyoung as anything, it is aesthetically pleasing. The moment they graced the stage in their teletubby-esque red, yellow and blue jumpsuits - which by now, have given the band a recognisable edge that separates them from other indie landfill - they remained cool and collected to the moment they abruptly finished their set (which I imagined to be a style choice).
For a band with only five tracks on Spotify (and one of them you can only really listen to at Christmas time), playing Ally Pally must have seemed like a colossal leap from the smaller venues these guys are probably used to playing. But if there were any nerves amongst them, they were well hidden beneath confident air that the Irish trio seemed to be breathing in. Even down to the movements and angles both guitars were being played at, everything about their set seemed very carefully curated and seamless. So much so, their performance wouldn’t have gone amiss if it’s venue was The Roadhouse, Twin Peaks.
As well as the fact that this was Alexandra Palace they were playing, the next support Dream Wife have built quite the name for themselves within the indie pop scene over the past year - yet another factor to keep in mind when watching such a new-to-the-scene band like Whenyoung. Not only did they hold their own, but they blasted into their first song Blank Walls and continued at that pace throughout, slowing down or speeding up when necessary to control the atmosphere radiating from their presence. Saying this, the energy between the three became so much more apparent the further they strode through their eight song set, and after each track had come to and end, the applause was slightly louder and more apparent.
Aoife’s vocals remained soft, sultry, and reminiscent of the late and great Dolores O’Riordan. And no, not because she is also Irish… even in a space as big as Ally Pally, you could feel her words and emotions fill the room. Every note was fuelled by sentiment and danced around each tight riff being flung out to the crowd from the boy in blue jumpsuit (Niall Burns).
Whenyoung’s songs sound like you might’ve heard them before - which isn’t to be taken negatively. The drums in their new single 'Pretty Pure' were very reminiscent of The Cure, whether that’s because I’m being tricked by the familiar sounding track name or whether it was done on purpose, it worked. Nothing about it sounded copy-cat, more so appreciative. Pretty Pure was among their more upbeat tracks and played even better live than it does through headphones.
Which is the truth for their whole set. Whenyoung are one of those bands who put more than just the music into their live shows. Being the warm up act for two much bigger bands, you wouldn’t expect as much thought to go in as what did. The lighting which remained either blue or red, the costumes, the energy… it was an impressive spectacle to watch - and I can’t wait to see more from them.
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Words: Laura Copley
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