On Friday night a sold out Gov hosted the charismatic and ever energetic Gang of Youths. Having built up a strong presence in the scene, since releasing their debut album 'The Positions'.
Anticipation was high before the five members took to the stage. We first saw the energy and drama for which Gang of Youths has become known for at their Falls Festival Mt Duneed set, where fans braved searing heat to catch them. We can safely say the energy we witnessed there was kindly brought down South and into the Gov. All members were stoked to be playing in such a large venue, having played the quintessential yet small Exeter show only last year. This venue change is symbolic of the band’s development, both in performance, back catalogue and following.
Blasting through their set, each of Gang of Youths song possessed a certain feeling of gravity, each vibrant tune led by the ever charismatic front man David Leaupepe. David’s performance was excellent, his gyrating hips and passionate vocals led an astonishing foundation of pounding drums, ever present effects and wavering bass. Draped in the Mona Lisa, guitarist Joji Malani’s on point solos were also notably important in the culmination of the Gang of Youths sound.
At one point, David slowed down the intensity of the gig to perform a solo song with only the aid of a keyboard, drawing the crowd in for a heartfelt moment. This brief slow down was followed by a continuation of Gang of Youths' more upbeat ballads. The boys also took the opportunity to showcase some of their new tracks, yet to be released, with David apologetically saying “yeah we’ll have this out later in the year if we can”. The newer tracks were as dramatic and cathartic as all of Gang of Youths' tracks, with one prolifically swearing number being particularly catchy.
David’s showmanship ever present, he was never afraid to run through the crowd, while belting out in unison the powerful anthemic lyrics. This connection between the audience and the band was tangible, as lyrics such as “I’m not afraid” in Poison Drum were sung as much by the audience as the band.
Overall Crowd favourites included Poison Drum, Magnolia and the melodramatic Radioface, which was performed following screams for an encore at the end of the night. Gang of Youths' self proclaimed ‘pseudotragic beautiful loser fatalism’ had us hooked. Following this one, we think Gang of Youths are something else, and can’t wait to hear some new content as soon as we can.
For more photos of this gig, head here.