By Neil Durham
WORTH A LOOK?: ****
WHEN?: Wednesday 2 February 2022, UK arena tour May 2022
SETLIST: Desire; Crave; Sooner Or Later; Shine; Muscle; If You’re Over Me; Play; Sunlight; Night Call; Starstruck; Sweet Talker; King
We’re near the front of the stage in this packed nightclub venue and when the excited audience start chanting: ‘Let go, let go, let go of everything’ during set closer and charttopper King we’re overcome with emotion and on the verge of tears.
- Read on for reasons including where to see Years and Years on tour in May
Gigs are cathartic and so much has changed in the years and years since we last saw singer Olly Alexander’s band play live launching 2nd album Palo Santo in Camden with MNEK in 2018.
There was his starring role in our Best TV show of 2021 (Russell T Davies’ It’s A Sin), the release of charttopping 3rd album Night Call in January – an album of the month for us – and now this intimate series of shows in partnership with independent record stores.
Alexander’s certainly putting the King in Kingston tonight during a 60-minute set of hits and best bits from an album that is definitely worthy of your time and has been an absolute treasure trove of singles with feet firmly on the dancefloor at a time when such freedom of expression and communion in a nightclub like this has been so curtailed.
Olly’s delighted the album has topped the charts and we’re so in the moshpit at this intimate venue that we can only see a handful of backing singers joining him on stage.
Lyrically the new album embraces Alexander’s sexual side unapologetically and the move away from the R’n’b influences of the 1st 2 albums to a more commercial, 80s-infused dance sound is a sidestep we’re enjoying.
Opening song Desire is not a new 1 but works well through the lens of the new album and its mix into recent single, the lyrically darker Crave, works well.
If You’re Over Me was the big hit from the 2nd album and is a cheeky melodic reminder of how good Years and Years can be when they go for the pop jugular.
Sunlight is an old song with a featured vocal from Years and Years and is received ecstatically by a crowd who like us have never seen Alexander at such close quarters.
The final 3 songs – Starstruck, Sweet Talker and King – are some of the band’s most euphoric and it’s in the breakdown of the final song when we realise how much we’ve missed gigs like this and how we want to see so many more of them.
Lucky then that Years and Years play a UK arena tour this May including in London at Wembley Arena.
- Picture by Neil Durham courtesy Olly Alexander and Years and Years Tickets
- Have you heard any of these songs or seen any of these shows? Let us know what you thought in the comments below
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