Review of Yuck live at Nottingham Stealth on Saturday 9th October supported by A Grave With No Name

It would be easy to feel a little apprehensive when seeing Yuck advertised as headlining Nottingham Stealth on an early Saturday night line-up (strict finish before ten so everyone can pretend to like 4/4 dance music whilst still sober). The venue is notorious for having the worst sound and layout of any of the mid-sized venues in the city, with The Red Room upstairs being far more suitable to such a gig, and such events there aren't exactly known for being well attended.


Factor in the fact that Yuck are playing their first headline show in Nottingham and it's not surprising, though still disheartening, that support A Grave With No Name play to a grand total of 7 people excluding members of the headline band. A great shame as their scratchy early 90s Indie has a fantastic energy and each song rides on a memorable riff that racks up distortion to piss-take proportions. The bands lack of stage presence helps; each member looking completely out of place and they bask in a nervous aura. The reference points are as obvious as those of the headliners, with sketches of Dinosaur Jr and Pavement present everywhere, but AGWNN (an awkward abbreviation if ever there was one) have more than enough ideas to save face, with 'And We Parted Ways At Mt Jade' branching out into fuzzy schematics that wouldn't sound too out of place alongside The Besnard Lakes. That one song is a carbon copy of The Adam Brown's 'A Subject Of Affliction' is no doubt, disappointingly, a coincidence.

By the time Yuck took to the stage the audience is well into double figures (at least 30) with the arrival of an apparent stag party who proceed to talk loudly about asbestos in an attempt to chat up a couple of girls in the crowd. Thankfully it gets a little quieter and less rapey by the time the band launch into the first of several over-driven indie-pop nuggets. An early and unavoidable comparison is The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, with both bands sharing the same saccharine male/female vocal patterns, but whilst TPOBPAH remain constantly fixated on wide-eyed c86 jangling Yuck drag things out further, with 'Rubber' containing a dead-on Spacemen3 drone and other tracks featuring Byrds-esque harmonies that are allowed to float thanks to a surprisingly strong sound level mix.

Both bands are yet to fully find their own identity but still offer enough flashes of youthful and brilliance to suggest they could go on to create something special, or at the very least be comfortable playing to audiences way up in triple-figure digits.

Jordan Dowling

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