With only eighteen years behind him, George Van der Broek, more commonly known by his artistic moniker ‘Yellow Days’, boasts of numerous sold out shows across the UK, a year of success following the release of his debut EP Harmless Melodies, and a contract with London imprint Good Years, placing him alongside the likes of Banks and Mick Jenkins.
In previous interviews, Van der Broek has spoken of perfecting “singing super loud over heavy drums” when providing vocals for his brother’s rock band at fourteen; a fine-tuned skill that transfixed the crowd in the intimate first-floor setting of ‘The Louisiana’ on Tuesday evening.
After a laborious six-hour coach journey from Leeds, the band, comprised of a drummer, keyboardist, and a bassist who also plays the keyboard, lumbered on stage in the shadow by front-man George and his unapologetic trim.
Staying true to Harmless Melodies, the set opened with the woozy jazz chords of ‘Intro’, subsequently bleeding into ‘Little Palace’ – a 2016 Soundcloud release preceding the EP. Complemented by a hazy instrumental laced with Mac DeMarco influence, Van der Broek adopts a nostalgic tone. He articulates detaching from the pain of a past relationship by visiting “a little palace outside my mind”. Despite being lyrically modest, the track is vocally enthralling, with a gritty, soulful range, reminiscent to that of Paolo Nutini’s teen debut These Streets.
Sixth-in-line came Yellow Days’ debut, and arguably best-known single, ‘Your Hand Holding Mine’. Mindless drums and a miserable, plodding bassline become fraught with the emotion of a younger Van der Broek, coming to terms with the “odd feeling” of watching your first love slip away, even though you told each other that it would be “forever”. Once again, through a gravelly, bluesy croon, simplicity is translated into sincerity.
Without the substance of a studio album, a twenty-five-minute EP and handful of unofficial b-sides, surely could not fill an hour –long set. This is true, yet Yellow Days more than compensated for this. Oozing effortless charisma throughout, tracks were seamlessly weaved with wistfully heavy guitar solos, sliced every now and then with a high-pitched yelp.
My experience of watching George and his band on their first tour was certainly special. Quite simply, I left the venue instilled with fervent anticipation for budding Yellow Days’ future projects.
Did you catch Yellow Days at The Louisiana? Let us know!.