In The Night
Weight of the World
I Was Born, I have Lived, I Will Surely Die
A Hymn for All I Have Lost
There Goes My Hero (Foo Fighters Cover)
Living in a Dream Is so Easy
At the Gates
I Want Out
A year has passed since their last release, Echoes, which saw Young Guns experiment with a different turn in sound and direction. Since then the band have been hiding away in the studio working on new music that will take them to the release of their fifth album, which is set to see a possible return to what they ultimately do best – up tempo, anthemic alternative rock with the poignancy of their incredibly strong song writing.
After a couple of brief festival appearances over the summer, the band embarked on their first UK headline tour in over 3 years, playing a handful of shows in just six cities which included short acoustic sessions for just fifty lucky fans ahead of each live show. I joined Gustav, John, Fraser, Simon and session drummer Casey at Student Central for their packed out London show.
Having seen Young Guns on a number of occasions I knew exactly what to expect from these relentlessly hard working humble guys, so as ever my expectations were extremely high…
Kicking off proceedings with explosive vibrancy, unexpected oldie In the Night from the Mirrors EP saw the encouragingly diverse crowd roar and literally take flight with excitement which set the bar sky high in preparation for heavy bass resonation of Rising Up. Following suit a string of ultimate favourites, Weight of the World, Stitches, Dearly Departed and I Was Born, I have Lived, I Will Surely Die – all of which Gustav Wood delivers effortlessly and with such dedication as he captivates the audience, not only with charisma and warmth but a yearning to satisfy the devotion of the fans. Gustav then takes the tempo down and invokes a melancholy acapella verse of A Hymn For all I have lost, leaving us mesmerised by his tone before a surprising rendition of The Foo Fighters, There Goes My Hero, so slick that it could’ve easily been one of the bands own tracks.
As the set progresses, the enthusiasm and passion from the band and the audience continues to maintain an epic high which leads into the subtly 80s inspired Living in a Dream Is So Easy, one of the stand out tracks from the last album Echoes.
Now knowing that every Young Guns show is certain to include a varied selection of crowd pleasers and key tracks from each album, it’s not often that we are treated to rarities, in fact it had been over seven years since the monumental At The Gates was heard live, until now. This appeared to be one of the highlights of the night with the audience standing in solidarity with Wood as he harmoniously beguiles them with his incredibly emotive vocal performance. It’s one thing to be a fantastically charismatic frontman, to hold the audience’s attention for well over an hour and to maintain that energy level, however it’s incredibly difficult to convey vocal strength, dynamics and emotion to such an extent that it leaves a lasting impression with every performance given. Gustav Wood appears to not only have the discipline required for such feats, he also possesses a natural ability to combine all of these aspects perfectly with the juxtaposition of the other band members, and keep that all important connection with the audience throughout, much to the pleasure to those who bear witness to this bands selfless offerings. The sincerity of how this band perform as a whole is a key factor to their continuous success.
A possible unintentional story begins to unfold as Buried takes us toward the epilogue of sorts with Bulletproof and Echoes rounding off the evening’s events… But we all know that it’s not quite over until the eagerly anticipated encore and the ever defining, incomparable riff of modern rock anthem Bones. Wood powers through the last two tracks, Daylight and I Want Out with an extremely tuneful and somewhat harmonious choral accompaniment from the thousand strong crowd.
Once again, Young Guns undoubtedly have no difficulty in providing evidence that they continue to be one of the best live bands in the U.K. A maturity and honest approach to song writing has captured the attention of a diverse audience which can only be looked upon as the highest accolade one can hope to achieve that ultimately contributes to their longevity in the music industry.