The Underground Youth


Tonight in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, something special is unfolding in the Soup Kitchen. A three band bill compiled by the venue itself is about to unfold and if the faces in the room are anything to go by, we are certain to be entertained.

Opening tonight we have Rongorongo, a Liverpudlian six piece who dedicate every song to someone different and quickly rattle through a thirty minute set. The actions and movements of their lead singer are their defining feature, seeing really is believing.

TVAM is one man, a guitar and a TV screen who has been attracting an increasing amount of attention due to the uniqueness of not only his approach, but the music he is producing. ‘Porsche Majeure’ has a haunting synth melody which runs throughout, laced with all the parts of the 80s we want to be reminded of musically. ‘No Explanations’ is by far the catchiest of his tracks, with its persistent beat, rolling guitar riff and chant-esq vocals. ‘Total Immersion’, his latest single released on 25th November through Psychic Data, is a blissed out six minute offering which transports to the delights of space.

The Underground Youth have become a mainstay on the psych circuit, having been around since 2009 and becoming prolific on the live circuit for their mesmerising live performances and extensive tour schedules. Essentially being the brainchild of Craig Dyer and having some seven LP releases and three EP releases under their belt, they perform live as a four-piece.

Having relocated to Berlin, TUY are strongly associated with Manchester and the fact that they chose Manchester for their final gig of the year speaks volumes. Opening with a duo aural attack from Sadovaya (2010) in the form of ‘Lost Recording’ followed by ‘Art House’ things get heavy. Both these tracks are deliciously dark but when performed live are faster, harder and they get given a real edge to supercharge their potential; the extended instrumentals shape the rest of the set.

‘I Need You’ from Delirium (2011) is mesmerising to watch live as drummer Olya Dyer plays in such a hypnotic style you feel compelled to watch closely for fear of missing the beauty in the simplicity. ‘In The Dark I See’ from The Perfect Enemy for God (2013) is racy from the get go and executed to perfection with its probing bass line and deep vocal harmonies. ‘Morning Sun’ has a happy, bouncy melody and always attracts people to sing along. ‘Hope & Pray’ sees a step back to Mademoiselle (2010) and has a softer, acoustic sound prevailing and is a key milestone in showing how Craig’s musical abilities have adapted and honed.

This comes before he moves his microphone stand unceremoniously into the crowd and the first bars of ‘Rules of Attraction’ ring out. Taken from Morally Barren (2009) the live version of this track is an entirely different beast to the recording sharing the same name. Live it packs a punch so hard the crowd are left breathless after springing about happily round the floor to the spoken, provocative lyrics, heavy bass line repetition and Olya’s unique drumming style. This song has mutated from a pleasant recording to their showcase piece, seemingly effortlessly. Rounding us off we see Craig put down his Vox and takes to the floor once more, Olya leaves the drums to favour a microphone and shaker and the unmistakable bass riff of Suicide’s ‘Ghost Rider’ rings out. Organised chaos ensues as both bassist Max James and guitarist Mark Vernon entire the crowd, instruments and all.

They leave the stage to rapturous applause and contented sighs all round. We are treated to an encore, most noticeably ‘Heart on a Chain’ makes an outing which is an underrated and often overlooked track of theirs – it goes down a storm here, the perfect Christmas gift.

I have had the honour of seeing The Underground Youth several times this year and they have gone from strength to strength. A change in guitarist has seen a change of style in parts but the essence of TUY remains, striking harder than ever. With the release of What Kind of Dystopian Hellhole Is This? set for release on Fuzz Club Records in February 2017 and a string of European dates already confirmed, their rise is set to continue – at this we rejoice.

The Underground Youth  Bandcamp | Facebook

Lover of all things psych and shoegaze and the mind behind Astral Elevator; constantly seeking new musical experiences in a world full of noise.