Playing their second Bristol headline show of 2022, Yard Act graced Trinity Centre with their anarcho-post-punk, tunes. This show sold out quite a while ago, and we were lucky enough to be invited down to the show.
The show was opened by Nuha Ruby Ra. Normally I do some research on the support band before the show, but sadly last night I did not have time to. Her style was certainly a surprise to me, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it wasn’t that.
Her experimental and echoic style took a while to win the crowd over, but by the end of her set most people were onside and a few keen fans were dancing down at the front.
She made her unique sound by using two mics with different effects running through each, and partnered with a loud and rolling backing track. This dreamy, trance sound is very typical of Yard Act, they certainly book different acts to be their supports. Although not the kind of music I’d listen to in my headphones, I would certainly be seeing it again.
Only one support, before the main act of the night. Right from the off, Yard Act brought all their energy out to the stage. They opened with what was noted on the setlist as Strip, a purely melodic song with no lyrics. It was an interesting start to the show, and another example of the experimental style that Yard Act are well known for.
Then front man James comes on stage and continues to bring it all with him, getting straight on with Dark Days. Yard Act aren’t the easiest band to sing along with, but the crowd were certainly all with it for the chorus, shouting those two words right back at the band. Following this with The Overload was certainly a brave choice, but as everyone stayed for the rest of the set its clear these guys are no longer the one-hit-wonder than some used to think they were.
The stage presence and stage talk that Yard Act has is unparalleled, combing the perfect dry British humor and wit meant the show was much more than just the music. The kind of band that can make you go from moshing, to dancing, to laughing all within one song is rare, and Yard Act do all three perfectly.
James even stole a mini fan from someone down the front for Human Sacrifice, keeping himself cool and doing that thing we all did as kids, talking through the fan into the microphone. He also did a good job of keeping the rest of the band cool throughout the song.
Guitarist Shippo always does a good job of stealing the limelight for a small portion of the show, his playing style and sound unrivalled to any other guitarist out there, his solos and riffs keeping the already electric atmosphere going.
The first big finish of the night was The Trapper’s Pelts, keeping the crowd moving, before the walk-off-walk-on, but an extra person joined them on stage. Bristol’s own Katy J Pearson joined Yard Act for the encore, helping Yard Act do their version of her song Miracle. I’ve loved Katy’s work for a long time, and seeing these two icons of the new music scene was an extra special way to top off a brilliant show. Ending the show with Land Of The Blind topped it off, with one last cheer and excited applause from the audience that was it for the show.
As always, Yard Act played a blinder of a show, and if you still haven’t had a chance to see them yet, they are heading off on a third UK tour later this year, with a trip to Bristol’s Marble Factory on the list.
A massive thank you goes to the Staff and Security at Trinity Centre, as well as the band and crew for putting on an excellent show.
Words and photos by Ted Stargatt for TrueStyleMusic