Date: Saturday 30th November 2019
Venue: The Wardrobe, Leeds
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So it’s well know that Crash Records do a fantastic job getting well established artists to play intimate shows across Leeds with big names like Foals, Scouting for Girls, and Frank Turner all playing shows hosted by them in the last 6 months alone. For tonight’s show however, rather than an already well established artist they had managed to get skyrocketing young artist Yungblud to perform a couple of acoustic shows at The Wardrobe, a very intimate 450 Capacity venue. Having played on the Main stage at this year’s Reading and Leeds Festival and also selling out his three night residency at Kentish Town Forum next year, it was clear that this tour would certainly live up to its name as “Intimate as Fuck”.
As I arrived at The Wardrobe 10 minutes before doors were due to open, it was clear that it was going to be a busy one with the queue running all the way round half of the building. As we filed out way into the building the anticipation was clear to see and as Yungblud took to the stage the screams were deafening from the adoring fans that filled the crowd. As the first few lines of ‘Loner’ came out the crowd surged forward singing the lines back with tons of energy. The afternoons set may have been an acoustic one but wasn’t stopping the crowd who were all bouncing along from start to finish. A couple of songs into the set he took a pause in his set to mentioned how it was good to be back home in Yorkshire which to no-one’s surprise spawned the chant ringing out across the venue. After the intense start things were slowed down a little for newer track ‘casual sabotage’. As the song drew on it was clear that Yungblud had a close link to his audience as the entire crowd were involved in singing back the chorus. As things kicked back up with ‘Original Me’ the crowd wasted no time in reopening the mosh pit in the centre of the venue to dance along with his politically motivated tracks in the most appropriate way. As his brief 40 minute set drew to an end, penultimate track ‘Anarchist’ drew huge bouncing across the floor and chants throughout really building the energy up for one last burst before finishing up with ‘hope for the underrated youth’ which went down a storm and with the crowd in full action releasing all their energy at the last possible opportunity. For a few brief minutes it was hard to remember that we were even at an acoustic gig rather than just a regular show.
As the set came to an end and Yungblud left the stage he made comment that he would hang around after the show to meet with the crowd after once the venue had been cleared. And with the large amounts of people that were waiting outside it was clear just how much of a devoted following Yungblud really has. Whilst a lot of people may be put off by “fan girls” it really shows that whilst his music carries a punch and is highly politically motivated it is still accessible enough to be enjoyed by the majority of people and that is something very impressive indeed. The fact that both shows in Leeds sold out very quickly proves that we were not just seeing a rising star as he took off but a very successful artist at the top of their game. With this success and his future tours already selling out tonight was definitely an “I was there!” gig as I think it will be a long time before Yungblud is back playing venues this small.
As with every gig that is hosted by Crash Records it’s important not to forget than none of this would happen without them. Their album release shows have all been very successful and this one was no different. It’s really important to have a local record store that is able to catch such vital shows for artists and draw that close link between them and the audience and these two shows with Yungblud really cement that they’re doing things right yet again. I can’t wait for my next trip to a Crash Records show as there is no doubt it will be a spectacle!