Sunday, November 20, 2022

Gang of Youths bring spirit, humour, and inspiration to Nottingham

Australian band Gang of Youths return to Nottingham with heart and passion on their ‘angel in realtime.’ UK tour. The band from Sydney have recently won ‘Triple J’s Australian Album of the Year’ which is one of many awards Gang of Youths deserve to receive for this epic yet vulnerable third album. The 5 piece who formed in 2011 gave their souls to the performance at Rock City in Nottingham to create absolute rock euphoria.  

Gang of Youths opened their show with one of their most energetic tracks ‘What Can I Do When The Fire Goes Out?’ to really kick their gig off. The first 2 songs they performed are from their second album ‘Go Farther in Lightness’ which in my opinion, is one of the most influential and moving albums of all time. Hearing songs live from this hearty and emotional album really adds another dimension to the tracks and their moving lyrics. The way lead vocalist, guitarist, and pianist Dave Le'aupepe opened their set was the perfect warm up for the rest of the gig. During the third song on the setlist ‘the angel of 8th ave.’, Le’aupepe put his guitar down to show off his dance moves, and let me tell you, this man has moves! His dancing was contagious and really got the gig-goers in the mood.  

The most poignant moment of the night was during the performance of ‘brothers’. This is one of the most moving and powerful songs the band has ever produced and hearing it performed live was a really special moment. Dave Le’aupepe performed this song alone on stage without the band to make the atmosphere match with the theme of the song which is vulnerability. Before he performed this magical and emotive track, Le’aupepe explained that he wrote this song about his family and the relationships between them. He said he normally masks his emotions with humour but decided to make this record to show his vulnerability. It was one of the most beautiful moments of any gig I have ever been to, it even reduced me to tears.  

From a slow and delicate track to the bouncy and bursting ‘the kingdom is within you’. This song really was the perfect way to pick the crowd back up after such an emotive stage of the show. The diversity and talent of the band shines in their setlist choices. The difference between ‘brothers’ and ‘the kingdom is within you’ shows how much of an immaculate band Gang of Youths are. They can perform such a passionate yet heart-breaking song and follow it with a track that gets people jumping but still contains such emotive lyrics.  

As well as an energetic, heartfelt, and vibrant gig, the band also provided a comedy show. Dave Le’aupepe’s sense of humour was loved by the crowd as he was talking about a bad review he received about a previous show on the tour. He took it lightly and made it into the talking point of the whole show which was hilarious. Alongside the banter, there was also words of encouragement and inspiration from the frontman. He urged fans to be kind to each other, don’t litter, be kind to animals and don’t vote for right wing political parties. It was the most wholesome way to end the show before performing their last song ‘Do Not Let Your Spirit Wane’. The whole performance by Dave Le’aupepe, Jung Kim, Max Dunn, Donnie Borzestowski and Tom Hobden was memorable, powerful, and one that fans will remember and feel for a very long time.  

Alice Mason 


Image: Alice Mason 

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