Having seen Free Money and Yonaka on the festival scene this summer, GIGsoup were buzzing to see them both in an intimate London venue where the crowd could really let loose. The Borderline, a fantastic venue in the heart of London’s lively Soho area, was the setting for one of the most lively gigs we’ve seen in some time.
Free Money’s set was the perfect warm-up for what was to come from the emphatic Yonaka. Playing many shows around the capital, these boys will surely only get better with time – a group that are clearly having fun, sporting ripped T’s, tight jeans and suede fringed jackets.
Having seen them perform a tidy set only last week at Bestival, it was possible to get a better idea of their sound here tonight. Free Money have the wonderful ability to shift between melodic, heartfelt tunes to manic punk-inspired 2 minute anthems. The quicker and more ballsy of the songs is undoubtedly where the strengths lie and where the crowd responded most, for these songs are where the energy behind the band, Sam “Chappers The Dog”, can really let fly.
Front-man Harry is the interesting figure on stage, swinging his guitar above and around his head whilst gently swaying and staring whimsically into the distance. Mark “The Hammer” and Charlie “P”take on drums and bass and provide a solid platform for the flamboyant half of their band to bounce and swirl about the stage.
What Did I Miss is the perfect evidence for why Free Money have every reason to succeed, where The Song demonstrates how the blend of indie melodies and punk can be blended into a slick a flowing menagerie.
Be sure to follow this band.
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Having had the stage readied so brilliantly, the crowd inside soon crammed in under the low ceilings of the Borderline to crank up the pressure of the atmosphere, ready for Yonaka.
This is a band that knows exactly where they want to be and their songs have a clear sense of what they stand for. Listen to their biggest tune Ignorance for an idea of what makes this band so freakin’ addictive.
Theresa Jarvis strutted up and down the stage with fire burning inside her. Her PVC trousers may have stolen the show if it wasn’t for the incredible depth in her voice, one that makes her stand aside from other front-women on the alternative scene – Jarvis’s impressive range would blow many out of the water. In Run, Jarvis almost adopts a rap-like spitting of words, before switching to to beautifully moody “oohs” and “aahs”.
In a band that identifies with a “smash and grab” style, she remains the loudest component.
Smashing through the set and rarely pausing, the Borderline became a box of chaos. Robert Mason is the glue in Yonaka – his driving drums being the underbelly of devilish riffs laid on by George Edwards and Alex Crosby who hit up guitar and bass respectively.
This is a type of band who relish a small gig, the sweat and beer flying around and the heat of the crowd willing them to play harder, to play faster.
Whilst this crowd was the perfect size for the band, their sound and quality are surely set for bigger things.
Seeing them live, it is easy to draw comparisons to bands such as Drenge who carry an anger within their songs. Yonaka also have that punch within them, but with it comes an overriding sense of positivity, for this is a band who let you release anything you have bottled up inside you.
Yonaka have a string of UK dates coming up in the coming months, Underground Festival and Neighbourhood Festival being two of the biggest slots in the tour diary.
Tonight, GIGsoup saw two bands at different junctures. Free Money are a band that will definitely make impressive strides the more live shows they play, a solid fan base will surely rise quickly. Yonaka are such an exciting prospect and clearly a tight outfit, if they haven’t already arrived to take a spot on your recent playlist, you’d better clear some room – they’re here to stay.