Young the Giant at Electric Brixton
It’s been 13 years since Young the Giant (formerly The Jakes) released their self-titled debut record, and the American band are now touring their 2022 album American Bollywood here in the UK. It’s also their first touchdown on London soil since 2019, so we wouldn’t blame fans for expecting big things.
The Electric Brixton is already extremely warm upon entering, a sign of the unusual weather we’re having in October as well as a consequence of a busy venue. The set kicks off with album title track American Bollywood, a strange number that never quite gets going. When the plucky guitar strings start for 2010 hit single Cough Syrup fill the air, excitement erupts and the song gets by far the biggest reception of the night. The audience cling to every word and sing the simple but poignant lyrics, “Life’s too short to even care at all…” unanimously and with great ardour.
The band’s music catalogue is very much Maroon 5 meets Tame Impala, with a welcome heavy bass throughout. The instrumentals are arguably some of their strongest peaks, in songs such as Wake Up, Nothing’s Over and the brilliant Dollar Store. The latter is particularly strong, with its punch-you-in-the-face intro, and it’s here that singer Sameer Gadhia’s vocals really get a chance to shine.
Instead of an encore, we’re treated to more of an interval come 10pm, with half an hour to spare when they get back. Sameer has a few words to say about the difficulties of 2020 with lockdown and Covid, and how the group missed playing the UK because of this, before playing the subdued Firelight, much to the crowd’s appreciation. This is followed by Superposition, Silvertongue and finally My Body – which brings a rapturous ending as fans leap around excitedly to the most rock’ n’ roll song of the night.
It’s been an interesting and varied performance, and the band have never faltered on their passion. Let’s hope fans in the UK don’t have to wait another four years for their return.
Photos: Oksana Dotsenko
For further information and future events visit Young the Giant’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Cough Syrup here: