Younghusband or Young*Husband as they sometimes like to be called was initially a bedroom project of Euan Hinshelwood.  Hinshelwood had been in a number of bands but when these failed to develop, he began to write and record his own music and after a few low-key releases , lead to him recruiting a permanent band with his friends Pete Baker (drums/pads), Adam Beach (guitar/keys), Joe Chilton (bass/vocals), who have also been members of Emmy The Great.

The recently released album Dromes produced by Deerhunter’s Monomania over-seer Nicholas Vernhes, has garnered much praise and attention including coverage in the NME and airplay on 6 Music.  Heading out on their first proper tour, they arrive to promote the new album with their first night being the Northern Quarter’s favourite back room band watering hole The Castle Hotel.

Lovely venue that it is, The Castle it is not ideal for any type of grand entrance for a band, due to the fact that they have to amble through the audience to get on stage.  When they appear, they seem almost apologetic and bashful at having an audience to greet them, thanking us profusely a number of times especially as they point out that The Black Angels are also playing in Manchester the same night.

The band begins with the chiming guitar intro to ‘Comets Crossed’ and set the scene for their aural sonic template.  It is clear that the band have studied the early 90s ‘shoegazers’ music of My Bloody Valentine and Ride, with singer guitarist Hinshelwood even sporting a floppy haired fringe and white long sleeve reminiscent of a hirsute Ride guitarist Mark Gardener crossed with Lawrence from Felt’s stylish panache.  This sound is mixed this with a nod towards 4AD era Cocteau’s and Ultra Vivid Scene as well as a smattering of 60’s psychedelic melody.  Importantly what is also evident is that they have added their own inventiveness and energy to make Younghusband a compelling listen.

The band really hit their stride during ‘Reunion Message’ as the melting pot of sonic guitar rhythms and echo-laden keys combine effectively to produce blissed out faces on not only the band but also nodding appreciation amongst the audience.  As it is the first night on the tour, you can forgive them a few rough edges and ‘Constantly In Love’, a lovely dreamy, wisp of a number on record fails to ignite live.  However, there is clearly enough on show to suggest that the band deserves greater attention and a wider audience as they have the inventiveness and tunes to earn this.

They finish their set with ‘Dromes’, a personal favourite with its discordant riffs and retro space-age keyboards wrangled quite intently by keyboard guitarist juggling Adam Beach, this builds to a suitable fuzzy krautrock ending and most notably leaving me wanting a bit more.  Although as per the start they leave us without a great deal of fuss – perhaps they need an element of rock to add to their very pleasant polite personas!

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Jonathan Roby

Overgrown indie kid with a penchant for americana, psych and weird folk.