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Yak @ Bungalows and Bears

Yak have a reputation for messy gigs. They’ve been touted as one of the best live bands in the country, and the turnout at Bungalows and Bears for their free show aptly confirms the buzz which surrounds Oli Burslem and co.’s onstage antics.

Hectic, aggressive guitar-bashing accompanies the madness which often leaks off the stage and into the sea of bobbing heads. Oli rejoices in chaos – the lack of coherence to Yak’s set is epitomised by the reverberating screech which lingers between songs and the frontman’s uncontrollable rambles about, well, who knows really? These imperfections, however, only make Yak’s set excitingly unpredictable.


Breaking into ‘Hungry Heart’, the explosion of instruments scramble around a prominent grungy guitar hook and Burslem’s vocals of distorted belligerence, sounding more like violent moaning and spitting than intelligible lyrics. The build-up of heightened electronic surges and ferocious head-shaking climax as Oli screams: “Again and again and again and again!” whilst swinging his guitar around wildly.

Revelling in the new material, it seems that the band’s intention to leave a mark extends much further than their live reputation. Taking place the night before the release of their debut album Alas Salvation, the gig almost acts as an album launch, seeing them flick through multiple tracks which feature on the chaotic release.

‘No’ ends their time in Sheffield. A slow burner, the singular drum clatters and prominent lyrics build their way to a hell-bent unleashing of instrumental screeching, seeing the band ending the performances as it began: with a reverberating shriek lingering in the air, while the crowd leave in an entirely different state of apt dishevelment.


Words and photos by Jacob Flannery

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