We’ve missed Yuck. There’s been a shoegaze shaped hole vacant in the scene since their last gig two years ago and it’s a hole only they can fit. Although a relatively small venue, Hoxton’s Macbeth boasts a full house tonight, packed from the tiled walls to the bar with a busy crowd. Support acts The Bohicas and Polterghost deliver sounds borrowing heavily from drone rock and they do well to arouse an audience who, for the majority, are here for one band only.
Apart from new guitarist Ed Hayes taking place of the recently departed Daniel Blumberg, the Yuck outfit feels fresh – fresh in the sense that there’s no trace of their two year departure. Bassist and singer Mariko Doi still has her air of moody cool, drummer Jonny Rogoff still sports a great ‘fro and Max Bloom’s vocals remain clear as day as they launch into ‘Middle Sea’, taken from new album ‘Glow and Behold’. The light harmonies of Mariko and Max sit contrastingly on top of the hazy, grunge guitar. Although they melt perfectly together in the initial tracks, when the four-piece introduce us to new material, Mariko’s vocals are temporarily lost in the flurries of guitar and heavy backing sound. She soon gets to rectify that with ‘The Wall’, a track that leans more towards indie rock than noise rock, allowing her to showcase her sweet vocal from behind a dark fringe that perches over her eyes.
There’s nothing fancy about tonight. Despite harbouring a large fan base and making a sold out comeback, their presence on stage conforms to the standards of any small gig. And I like that. That’s not to say it’s prosaic. The band still surprise us by explosively launching into a spontaneous dust storm of bass and drums after slower tempo songs like ‘Rebirth’ as well as playing a fantastic cover of New Order’s ‘Age Of Consent’. Closing track ‘Operation’ has a satisfied crowd bobbing their heads like Ed and swaying their hair like Mariko. Consider their status of kings of the underground reclaimed.