On a tour around the UK celebrating their latest release, Vitamin Y, alt-rockers Yassassin brought their unique style to Leeds’ intimate Lending Rooms.
A minimal crowd greeted the eye when entering the doors to the venue, with most milling about in the back near the bar. But one should not be discouraged for this: The lineup for the night included some of the greats in up-and-coming musicians to date.
Leeds locals AVACET welcomed the few who have braved the early scene with an impressive showcase of upbeat shoegaze. Their self-titled EP features lighter melodies complemented with darker, heavier, brooding bridges with a mastery akin to more established bands of the same style. This is their only release so far but they have hinted at upcoming releases soon enough.
Come for AVACET’s great music, stay for their cringe-worthy puns. (“What do you call a patronizing criminal walking down some stairs? A con descending.”)
With a crash of classic post-punk abruptness, FEHM overtook the stage next. With hardly a break between songs except to say “ta very much” halfway through and what was possibly “love you, too” at the end of their last song, it’s safe to say describing the band’s songs as gothic and turbulent, doesn’t stray too far from their stage presence.
To gauge the enthusiasm with which Yassassin played the night–even while only having a handful of songs to their name and thus resulting in a whirlwind of a stage time–one can list the incidents alone: In two separate incidents, bassist Raissa dropped her guitar after its strap came unhooked, then knocked her microphone out of its stand onto the floor. During the same song as the mic drop, guitarist Moa, doing a jig onstage, almost falls on top of me, causing her to finally invite the crowd to step forward because “someone has to catch me.”
It’s not only the stage presence that establishes Yassassin as a band soon to be of epic proportions, however. With music that takes influence from the likes of Kathleen Hanna, PJ Harvey, and Debbie Harry, the band touches on the societal and political issues women face with the wrath from facing adversity, mixed with the softness from belonging to a community in which we need to find solidarity.
Vitamin Y is out everywhere now for purchase and streaming, and be sure to keep an eye out for ListenSD’s conversation with Yassassin at the Liverpool Festival of Psychedelia!