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Review: Yard Act @ Rough Trade

Zed Law walks us through a Yard Act show that was charged with a furiously satirical attitude, resulting in a witty celebration of their newest musical offering

By Zed Law, First Year English

Yard act returned to Rough Trade Bristol for a strikingly intimate and informal performance to promote their new album Where’s my Utopia?. Despite announcing that they were “not even arsed this time… we’re not pinched for sales”, the audience interaction and personal nature of the performance left a startling impression from a band continuing their meteoric rise.

It was clear from the start that the show was to be off the cuff. With no set list planned, trench coat clad vocalist James Smith took requests from the audience: opening with the albums lead single ‘Dream Job’, a head bopping and catchy start immediately livening the early afternoon crowd.

‘Fizzy Fish’ was a particular highlight. Described as “like Massive Attack on the drum machine”, drawing a positive response from the Bristolian crowd, it was delivered with sharp, slam-poetry style vocals and underpinned by a new synth machine that Smith admitted he had no idea how to use.

The album closer 'A Vineyard for the North' followed as their final new track, a more introspective, lyrically complex song akin to breakout hit ‘100% Endurance’.

Audience suggestions for older songs from original EP Dark Days were then taken much to the bands affected chagrin, complaining about their effort to release new music when “everyone just wants to hear the old stuff”.

Yard Act @ Rough Trade | Zed Law

The live version of 'The Trapper's Pelt' stole the show, resoundingly sung along to and underscored by a beautiful saxophone line and with a much more melodic, almost funky vocal delivery that was arguably better than the original.

They closed off with a final rendition of ‘Dark Days’, before encouraging us to “buy, stream, pirate or steal the album- we don’t care”, underpinning an fan led and deeply connected performance.

Featured Image: Zed Law

Have you listened to Yard Act's new album yet?