Yard Act @Mono 03.03.22

Opening tonight’s show is Baba Ali a synth driven duo who have some serious dance moves. Which is understandable considering their sounds is also distinguished as highly danceable, Hot Chip inspired indie pop. Defiantly worth checking out.

Yard Act occupy their own space within the music industry, they’ve created an album (during the pandemic, nonetheless) that skirts between angular guitar pop and disco rap with lyrical witticisms that illustrate life perfectly in post Brexit Britain.

The four piece hail from Leeds and are extensively touring the UK promoting their debut album The Overload (out now).

This brings them to Glasgow’s very own indie label stomping ground of Monorail Records – or Mono to locals.

The band hurtle through what seems like a deliberately short set (45mins) with some jovial banter with the audience thrown in for good measure.

Walking on stage with the Ukrainian flag draped over a speaker and delivering a distorted guitar version of the Ukrainian National Anthem makes no room for error when understanding that Yard Act want to serve as a bastion for social justice.

Opening track Strip perfectly exposes frontman James Smith’s vocals for their unique candour. Think Alan Partridge proclaiming the whimsical folly of capitalism, all the while neck twerking to an XTC bass line juxtaposed with some very forked, post punk guitar riffs.

Indeed the ‘overwhelming sense of independent doom’ to quote directly from the bands track Peanuts is an over arching metaphor that runs congruent throughout tonight’s whole performance.

There is a distinct fervour of rebellion at the heart of what Yard Act do and I honestly can’t think of music more appealing to the masses (Yes, I mean the general populace – their album charted at Number 2) in todays uncertain times.

But what Yard Act really manage to encapsulate is the personality traits of the Tory leaning, middle class, demi-capitalist whose actions and words stick like an unwanted fly in the syrup of the more socialist minded individuals.

Stand out tracks included The Incident and Peanuts which both had the audience members participating with the poetry infused spoken word sections.

Tall Poppies offered a more austere reflection on war. With set closer Land of the Blind bringing the set to its conclusion many in the audience seemed a bit baffled by the exclusion of songs like Fixer Upper which propelled the band to fame.

It would seem that James Smith was recently inflicted with a bout of stomach flu and almost didn’t make the Glasgow show at all which may explain why the set was curtailed.

With everyone from NME, BBC6 and The Guardian all hailing these gloriously quaffed stalwarts as ones to watch for 2022 you would be out of your mind to miss out on their show next time they roll into town.

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