Presented by Bad Vibrations and hosted by The Moth Club.
It was great to finally catch The Underground Youth at London’s Moth Club as part of their headline tour of the UK and Ireland. I was intrigued to see them play live after hearing their instantly hypnotic track, ‘Alice’ on BBC Radio 6 Music last year.
Originally formed in Manchester in 2008 as the solo venture of Craig Dyer. An artist renowned for writing, experimenting and recording all his own music. However, in 2012 after signing to Fuzz Club Records the project expanded to a four-piece to include Dyer’s wife, Olya on drums. The bands eclectic musical influences include The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Spacemen 3, Bob Dylan and Nick Cave, to name a few. With their collective passion of literature, cinema and poetry it’s not surprising their music is unique, original and interesting with bittersweet lyrics. Their music has been described as raw, post punk, shoe-gazing, cinematic, psychedelic rock with a stripped back sound. The Underground Youth are now based in Berlin, Germany they are: Craig Dyer (vocals and guitar), Olya Dyer (drums) Leonard Kaage (guitar) and Max James (bass).
The Moth Club is a small but extremely popular music venue with a retro feel, located in Valette Street, off Mare Street in the heart of Hackney. With great acoustics, a standing capacity for 300 and a small seating area on a slightly elevated platform on the right-hand side of the room. A predominantly young audience in their 20’s and 30’s, filled the event room to hear The Underground Youth perform.
The Underground Youth appeared on a stage of moody red lighting which added to the haunting atmosphere of their first song, ‘You Made It Baby, with its extremely rhythmically hypnotic pace. Frontman, Craig Dyer took centre stage, flanked on either side by guitarist, Kaage and bassist, James. Olya Dyer was equally dominant at the back of the stage, stood behind her drums, yes, she drums standing up! The audience was captivated immediately with fans jostling each other to get a better view and closer to the stage. Their style of music is quite difficult to pigeon-hole, which isn’t a bad thing. Sometimes sounding reminiscent of Joy Division, at other times vaguely familiar of the goth scene of the late 80’s, but also psychedelic and anthemic. The song ‘Juliette’ was especially nostalgic of Joy Division with Dyer’s menacing deadpan vocals and matter of fact, almost throw-away, poetic lyrics. Their set increased a notch when they performed ‘The Outsider’ which was followed by the melodic and predominantly guitar-based, ‘Morning Sun’. ‘Fill the Void’ was undoubtably my favourite, a song that went from strength to strength until it reached an epic crescendo of guitars. Crowd-pleasers were, Hope and Pray, the fast-paced, Delirium, Tokyo Blue and The Rules of Attraction. For the later song, Craig Dyer leapt from the stage to continue playing the track from the centre of the crowd, much to everyone’s delight and the number of smartphones illuminating around him. It’s an epic song with dark lyrics which builds and builds to a manic but strangely satisfying frenzy. Dyer almost growled the lyrics, “Pass me that pen and here I’ll draw, A picture that invites the mind, Tickles up and down the spine, Girl, just say that you are mine, Please don’t waste my bitter time”. Olya’s drumming during this song was mesmerisingly faultless and phenomenal. After a short exit, the band returned to play three songs for their encore. Their final song, Your Sweet Love, was beautiful to hear played live for an epic seven minutes and concluded their eighty-minute set.
Set List: You Made It Baby, Art House Revisited, Juliette, Mademoiselle, The Outsider, Morning Sun, Hope & Pray, Delirium, Strangle Up My Mind, Fill the Void, Tokyo Blue, The Rules of Attraction. Encore: Heart on A Chain, I Need You, Your Sweet Love.
The band’s most recent album ‘What Kind of Dystopian Hellhole Is This?‘ was released in February 2017 by Fuzz Club Records.
Until the next adventure…