Yuck

support Porcelain Raft
author TL date 03/03/11 venue Loppen, Copenhagen, DEN

It's Thursday night and my girlfriend and I are sitting and chatting over a beer in Loppen, Christiania, Denmark. England-based indie-rockers Yuck are playing in a while, and it's fair to say that I probably wouldn't be here if it wasn't to accompany Josefine. Not because I don't know Yuck - in fact, I had quite coincidentally checked them out only last week - but more because I initially had lowered the band's coverage priority until I could get some more time on my hands, and hence didn't know they were playing. Of course that changed though, when my better half invited me for a night of tunes and beverages. So here I am anyway, with only the matter of a support band to deal with before Yuck would take the stage:

Porcelain Raft

Whoops, scratch the word 'band'. Porcelain Raft is in fact a moniker that hides only one lonesome Londoner and his personal electronica/post-rock sounding project. As is stated on his website, Mauro Remiddi plays 'solo shows using guitars, sampler, loops and keyboard', and as you might imagine, him having to control all those things on his own doesn't make for a very visually active on stage performance. That doesn't really matter much however, because it's really interesting enough to just watch the man weave soundscapes of admirable intricacy on his own. Simple, lightweight elements are layered in a progressive fashion, often getting louder over the course of the songs, and despite the fact that there's no crowd interaction, and that noone seems to have heard Remiddi's songs before, the show seems fittingly intimate enough, for most on-lookers to stay attentive and seemingly pleased for the duration of the set. I do wonder if Porcelain Raft is an act that can command the attention of a larger audience, but in this setting, it fits nicely, and leaves you feeling both entertained and slightly impressed.

7

Yuck

After a reasonably short wait, it is Yuck's turn to come on stage, and commence playing music that has gotten them compared to the likes of Pavement and Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. Effectively their songs are low-fi, noisy little indie/pop/rock songs of an easily enjoyable kind, and despite some minor equipment issues, the band performs in a manner that seems both comfortable and experienced. There's not much nonsense going on, with lead-singer/guitarist Daniel Blumberg only weighing in occasionally with some typical indie-dork charm while the band tunes their instruments. It's cool, it's casual, it's well-played, but after a handful of songs, I must admit that my ears start to get a little ADHD. You see the majority of Yuck's songs seem to follow a very strict formula: a simple leading melody lies on top of an equally simple chord-progression, the bass follows the rhythm guitar, and lead guitarist Max Bloom adds vocal harmonies to the chorus and a solo in the usual C-part of the classic A-B-A-B-C-B structure. It's clear that most people in attendance are satisfied with this 'if it ain't broken'-approach, judging from the number of bopping heads and smiling faces, so I think I am among the few to feel that things get a bit samey however. Something I could likely have avoided if I had spent more time getting to know the band's material, but I am merely making the observation as a new listener. Meanwhile, things fortunately end with two highlights. During the second-to-last song, Bloom and Blumberg reverse their roles while things get slightly more energetic, and during the last song, Yuck let themselves go, finally rocking out more actively, while letting their show end in a loud, feedback-dominated climax. And that's pretty much it. It's nothing grand, nothing too out of the ordinary, yet while someone like me can wonder why Yuck don't make their shows slightly more dynamic by rocking out just a bit more often, I also have to recognize that there truly isn't anything wrong about the classy and confident delivery of a decent number of pleasant tunes.

7

Picture of Yuck provided by Terranaut.dk

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