Digital, Brighton: Yeasayer
There was something distinctly underground about Yeasayer’s gig at Digital. It was more than the atmospherics provided by the King’s Arches venue, formerly the Zap Club – maybe it was that shared sense of being in on a kind of music that defied categorisation, swooping across boundaries like a gleeful swallow.
Showcasing material from their 2007 debut All Hour Cymbals and plenty from new release Odd Blood, the band struck an immediate rapport with the crowd, that had lead singer Chris Keating bantering with the front row and bigging up local cult eaterie Bill’s.
Yeasayer’s music is propelled by the precise, tight drumming of Ahmed Gallab, coupled with the sinewy bass of Ira Wolf Tuton, and the foundation these two lay down that allows the music to hop from electro-rock to dub, from psychedelic wigout to gospel-style chants.
Chris Keating provides a charismatic front man, all waving hands and jerking torso snaps one minute, minutely adjusting his box of tricks the next. Standing where we were, guitarist Anand Wilder was a hidden voice and presence, but the effect of the whole was electrifying and at times hypnotic.
The harmonised and at times almost falsetto chanted choruses on some songs tipped Yeasayer towards Polyphonic Spree and even Fleet Foxes territory, but just when the pop idiom threatened to take over, something left field popped up and dragged it back to the edge. A good place to be.
Inevitably, the well-loved Sunrise was part of the encore (“we don’t usually do encores”) and the sold-out crowd drifted out onto the seafront with smiles on their faces. One solid bass note went through my entire body – now and again it’s the kind of therapy you need.