Gig review: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

For as long as I can remember, band upon band have been trying to recreate that quintessentially British indie sound with varying degrees of success.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Tonight’s Clap Your Hands Say Yeah appearance at Brudenell serves a similar purpose, but this time reminding oneself of that classic 80s college rock sound, expertly purveyed by many a North American contemporary. Frontman and sole remaining member Alec Ounsworth wears both of these influences on his sleeve, the CYHSY back catalogue brimming with short sharp cunningly fashioned shiny pop nuggets, the effect making yours truly feel 21 again.

Surprisingly, the Hyde Park venue proves somewhat undercooked for the Pennsylvanian foursome’s arrival. By show time it’s maybe a face-saving three quarters full as ‘As Always’ gets the gig under way, Ounsworth’s sometime unfathomable lyrics perhaps a nod to a certain Athens frontman whose words were deliberately smothered, particularly during his collective’s formative years.

‘Yankee Go Home’ proves the band never shy away from rocking out when given the chance, whereas ‘A Chance to Cure’ and ‘Coming Down’ both showcase a love for those all-important electronic frills, warming everyone up nicely. Naturally the latest and thoroughly splendid CYHSY release ‘The Tourist’ features prominently, the MF laden opener ‘The Pilot’ one of many highlights. Nevertheless, there is still plenty of room for earlier favourites including ‘Same Mistake’ and the superb “The Skin of my Yellow Country Teeth’, a song David Byrne would probably gladly admit to have written, perhaps with the help of Peter Hook’s bass.

Alec reappears at the start of the encore without his three touring band mates for a beautifully stripped down version of ‘Fireproof’, before the remaining members of the quartet emerge for a rousing finale ‘Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood’.

One of the United States’ best kept secrets.