Live at Cockpit on Thursday, 10th March 2011
It's a testament to how hotly anticipated tonight's show is that despite the fact it's cold, raining and blowing a gale outside the Cockpit on this truly miserable Thursday evening, there are fans outside the doors who have queued for hours for a place at the front of the venue; it is clear that expectations for tonight's show are sky high, which leaves Birmingham quartet Lyu the unenviable job of warming up this most partisan of crowds. However, they rise to the occasion with style, and their melodic brand of post-hardcore sets the bar high for the rest of the evening, and the leave the stage with many more friends than they arrived with. Hopefully they'll soon have their own crowds to play to, and judging by the number of CDs they sell tonight, many of those present tonight will be there for them when they next come back to Leeds.
The matter of a crowd poses no problem to The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, who have no shortage of devout fans here tonight. After a surprisingly boring start, alarm bells are ringing when, four songs into their set, they announce they are "going to slow things down". Thankfully, the song in question is a beautiful rendition of 'Cat and Mouse', and from here they transform their set into a real winner; songs like 'Your Guardian Angel', 'Pen and Paper' and a fan-requested 'False Pretense' are all greeted hysterically by fans who've waited 3 years since their last UK tour. As they sign off with 'Face Down' and a stunning 'Grim Goodbye', you're left praying that they don't leave it so long next time- especially not after the reaction they've seen tonight.
After such a high profile support act, Yashin now have to prove themselves worthy of being headliners; and that's exactly what they do, as they proceed in unleashing a show that never loses momentum or gets boring, but remains sharp and focussed, and above all, fun. Songs like 'Get Loose!' and 'Stand Up' whip the crowd into an absolute frenzy with their barbed riffs and catchy choruses, and everywhere you look there are people moshing, crowd surfing and stage-diving, each one of them doing so with a smile on their face. They've barely left the stage before being summoned back for an encore, where they finish with a fine parting shot in the form of their brilliant reworking of Britney Spears' 'Everytime', culminating in vocalists Harry Radford and Kevin Miles swinging from the lighting rig and taking the show to the floor, where they are instantly mobbed by an audience who've just experienced a masterclass in how to entertain.
It's too easy to get nostalgic about post-hardcore; with influential bands such as Funeral for a Friend, Thursday and Glassjaw all about to embark on UK tours, it would be easy to forget about the current scene, which consists mostly of American bands who seemingly forgot how to perform whilst putting their make-up on. But scratch away at the surface, and you find bands like Yashin; homegrown gems who are ready to show the world that there's more to the genre than your brand of straighteners. Let's hope they get their shot at the big time, because contenders don't come much more genuine than this lot.