This Young Guns article was written by Alia Smallwood Thomas, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Natalie Whitehouse. Lead photo by @capturedbycorinne

It’s been a long time coming, but Young Guns finally returned earlier this year with their new album and more recently, a UK headline tour, once again bringing the noise and energy to venues around the country.

The five-piece rock band from London and Buckinghamshire, consisting of Gustav Wood on vocals, John and Fraser Taylor on guitar, Simon Mitchell on bass and Ben Joliffe on drums, have been away from the UK music scene for quite a while. They released their latest album, ‘Ones and Zeros,’ in the summer, three years after their previous album ‘Bones.’ Later on in 2012, after the release of ‘Bones,’ the band signed to American record label Virgin EMI, consequently playing numerous shows around America for the next year or so, therefore it’s safe to say they missed home and their English fans, reiterated by Wood during the show.

Currently touring their latest album at small venues around the UK, Young Guns are back in full force. The intimacy of the smaller venues is sometimes forgotten, but the love is certainly rekindled when experiencing it once again. The Engine Rooms is an interesting venue in Southampton used for roller nights and live music. Bigger than the infamous Joiners, but smaller than Southampton University’s music venue and O2 Guildhall, The Engine Rooms is a good sized venue; small enough to still experience that small-venue-intimacy, but large enough to not necessarily be too packed out and feel like a tin of sardines. Supporting Young Guns were Newcastle based Boys Jump Ship and Scottish band Vukovi – a good line up to set the atmosphere and tone for the main band, and to make up a great night of British rock music.

The music of Young Guns is not necessarily your standard rock music. It has quite a melodic feel and in a small venue such as The Engine Rooms, the music sounds brilliantly atmospheric. The band showed great passion and energy in their performance, with great interaction with the crowd and an energetic performance; playing a mixture of old songs and new, and surprised with an interesting cover of Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ which went down well.

Songs from the new album were well received. A couple to point out were ‘Daylight,’ title track ‘Ones and Zeros,’ and ‘I Want Out’ that really caught the attention of the crowd; full of melodic guitar riffs, catchy basslines and memorable choruses. The echoey, melodic nature of the bands’ sound was not faulted by the acoustics of the venue, which can often be an issue in a lot of places. A crazy, energetic lighting set added to the atmospheric music and gave an extra level of intensity to a great performance.

Considering the previous success of Young Guns before their two year quiet patch and the following they had and still have, it was strange not to see a full venue, and even more surprising to see a crowd that weren’t raring to fully participate in the show – instead of jumping around to the band they’d missed for so long, they were, for the most part, fairly low key despite the energy the band brought to the stage. As much as the lads were putting into their show, only some members of the crowd were really showing their full appreciation for the band, until further into the set when crowd participation certainly picked up.

However, Young Guns ended on a big high with their song ‘Bones,’ the title track of their second album. An excellent choice to round off a good performance. The boys really put their all into this last song, getting the crowd to really participate and thoroughly enjoy it. You couldn’t fault their efforts and energy, and overall it was a great performance from Young Guns. If anything, they deserved more from their fans on their heavily awaited return.

Young Guns - The Engine Rooms, Southampton (25th October 2015) - LIVE REVIEW

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