WORDS N PIX: ANNA SAMPSON
PARIS, 8 pm, 18 FEBRUARY
Off to review a band, get #tipsy at dinner and don’t make it.
Not all bad, though. Still time to catch the headline act!!
IN THE UBER
YAK. Know nothing about them, so hit up Google. Find out:
1.) Lead singer Oli lives out of his car. (Don’t buy it)
2.) YAK spends a whopping £400 a day on booze. (Seriously?!)
3.) Their new album is called Pursuit of Momentary Happiness.
(At least I know one thing for sure)
ALONE AT THE VENUE
Not what I expect.
Abdul takes me the wrong way, so end up trekking uphill for 15 minutes.
5 stars quickly turn to 3. Shame really.
Stumble onto La Maroquiniere on a quiet side street.
Thick white doors are open wide.
Into courtyard. Mostly men, mostly HOT. 😉
I remember that I’m alone. Fuck! At least I’m wearing Margiela 😉
Skkkrt past the boyz, straight to the bar, grab a drink and dash to the loo, where I sit listening to “Who’s That Girl?’ by Eve.
Then it hits me. Why the fuck is everyone outside? Has the gig finished already?
Yak still on. Confirmed by two 70-year olds in denim waistcoats. Well in.
INTO THE BASEMENT
Crowd roaring “Woo!!!!!” “Alrrrrright YAK” and “Come ON”!!!
Feels a bit much considering we’re not at Capital’s “Jingle Bell Ball”.
Sprawling, sweaty venue.
I’m stood on top of some steps. Not a great view of the stage, but beggars can’t be choosers. My camera is slung over my shoulder, hand bag style, and I’ve already backed my third Rosé.
Some may call it sloppy, I call it business casual.
Lights dim. Crowd ROARS. Spotlights flicker. Yak takes the stage and what the FUCK –
Oli looks like a young Micky J, drummer, Elliot, a more relatable Jack White and Vinny, the bassist … like Al Pacino.
Remind myself that I’m not at Madame Tussauds!
Oli tosses off his pink baseball cap.
The music starts.
Nasally vocals screech out of a strange megaphone attached to Oli’s mic.
Don’t think it’s necessary, but a kid in the front row clearly does. Within first 3 minutes he’s crowd surfing.
“Good behaviour! Good, good behaviour!” Oli screams at him.
Bellyache, one of the two songs I ‘know’ comes on.
Jump at the chance to look like a proper fan.
“Bellyache!! Yessss, LOVE this one”!!!!
I feel like something out of “Angus Thongs and Perfect Snogging”.
Singing along: “So tired of greedy bodies, so tired of greedy bodies, so tired of greedy bodies.”
Dude next to me clearly not into me in full flow. He glares and shifts to the other side of the room. If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best, boyo.
Bellyache sounds better live than it did in the Uber!!
Abdul would be smitten.
AND THE BAND PLAYS ON
Oli. Wow. What charisma. What energy!
Hammers the keyboard, flashes a manic smile, dives into crowd.
1 nil for bare feet. Not sure why they’re so sooted tho.
Vinny. Kinda over overlooked on the left side of the stage.
Tough place for the former front man of “Hidden Charms”?
Elliot. Rolls up sleeves midway through set.
Hench? Not quite- but the energy is sexy!
Tempo slows. Is that Oli?
He’s unplugged and it’s the best thing I’ve heard so far.
“I tried, I tried, I tried, but the words keeping failing me”.
Ah! Now I know the song is called, funnily enough, “Words Fail Me”.
Within a minute the song speeds up. Crowd surf, keyboard slam and grin reappear.
You can’t always get what u want, innit.
Last song. Pink hat’s back on.
“Let’s take this outside”! Oli shouts.
The crowd follows. I’m fully wasted.
I emerge and even the bar staff are standing on benches, tables and bins to get a look in.
Back to toilet, where I play a new song.
“Classic man” by Jidenna.
Spot Vinny. A bit of orite up close 😉
He tells me:
“I didn’t enjoy the limelight of being a frontman.”
End up at bar where people are playing sitars and smoking weed.
Bit confused, but down some beers like a champ!
WHERE 2 LISTEN: On the bus down to PGL.
OVERALL: Yak was fun, and since the gig, I’ve listened to them a bit.
MAKE up your OWN damn MIND: CLICK HERE