|Yeasayer singer, Chris Keating|
“Wait for the summer,” plead Yeasayer shortly into their set, “sleep when we wanna.” As grey clouds gather outside and festival season seems like a distant past-life, it appears we’re quite a way off yet. But, with a danceable dosage of dub-charged-stoner-electro- psychedelia, Yeasayer spread a little bit of sunshine over a chilling British October evening.
Sinisterly clutching his pet monster Bommel, singer Chris Keating stalks the tiny stage with intent as opener Madder Red sets the tone for all that follows by showcasing all the hallmarks of what makes Yeasayer great. An altogether otherworldly psychedelic translation of a New Romantic anthem, Madder Red is bewitching but human, with ethereal escapism and unshakeable dance-ability in equal measure, soothing and shaking the crowd all at once.
Sadly, at moments Yeasayer suffer from their own strengths, as their dream-like drones often flow into one another so fluidly that they slip into a brief mid-set lull. But the mist is soon pierced by the throbbing and relentless ecstasy of Mondegreen re-invigorating the crowd like troubadours at a witch trial.
The most rapturous response of the evening is saved for O.N.E - a frenzy of tropical joy and wild-pop imagination that transforms this former gym into a blissed out carnival, like WHAM! on mind-altering drugs. (Sorry, too soon?)
Ambling Alp is played as nothing short of a complete celebration, turning pop anthemics into an out-of-body experience. “Now kid I know I haven’t been the perfect man,” croons Keating with an understated modesty that befits their measured and temperate stage presence, allowing the music to breathe and transcend the suffocating walls of this concrete carbuncle. Tribal drums pump an infectious sense of life into the room as birdsong; wandering basslines and rich but untamed synth create colourful flourishes of pop majesty before descending into a mindlessly exuberant freak-out jam, possessing the audience with an overpowering control of the senses.
Yeasayer return for an encore with the slow-burning haze of 2080, closing proceedings with their trademark sense of the mystic and sounds of the future, like gypsies from space. Within these four walls, five subtle but animated silhouettes jerk from one sound to the next under the cover of dry ice and a dazzling mirrorball display until all becomes a flowery dream. Make no mistake, with Yeasayer, summer doesn’t sleep.
Yeasayer played at Nottingham Trent Students Union on Friday 22 October 2010.