Sunday, May 22, 2016

Live: The Underground Youth @ Fuzz Club (Athens, May 20, 2016)

The rise of The Underground Youth’s popularity among indie music fans in Greece is a bit similar to the rise of Leicester City F.C. in the English Premiership. I don’t think that many would expect it, when Craig Dyer’s psych rock band made its Athens live debut in the fall of 2012 at the tiny Six D.O.G.S club that four years later they would be headlining at the Fuzz Club, currently the city’s largest rock venue.

I have to admit that a casual listen to their latest album, last year’s "Haunted", did not prepare me for the intensity of the band’s live show. Thankfully there was the good word of mouth from their previous gig at An Club a year ago and the fact that there aren’t many interesting rock gigs in town lately that convinced me to give them a chance and now I’m at the very pleasant position to testify that the rumors are true: The Underground Youth really know how to rock a stage!

Craig Dyer has said in interviews that he prefers to work alone when creating The Underground Youth’s music, but the added power and intensity that his music projects when performed live as quartet that also includes Frankie on guitar, Max on bass and his wife Olya on the minimal drum set, which she plays standing up bringing in mind the "Psychocandy" era Jesus And Mary Chain, is a testimony to the fact that music can be much more powerful when it is a collaborative effort.

Where their live show really takes off is when first Craig, and then also Frankie and Max, jump off the stage and start to perform among their fans the last songs of their set, true to the punk rock spirit of breaking down the barriers between musicians and fans. The Underground Youth showed us how music can be all you need to communicate with like-minded individuals and made every minute count in a truly memorable 80-minute set where psychedelic rock and post-punk collided to create some wonderful noise!

Among the highlights of their set we have singled out "Morning Sun" (which you can watch below), "Collapsing Into Night", "The Rules of Attraction" and a great cover of Suicide’s classic "Ghost Rider".

The Underground Youth - Morning Sun (live @ Fuzz Club, May 20th, 2016)

The Underground Youth, live @ Fuzz Club (May 20th, 2016)
Another plus of the fittingly rainy night was Echo Train’s performance that preceded The Underground Youth’s set. The Athens rock quintet’s music takes inspiration from ‘60s psychedelia and ’70 progressive rock, and although the latter is not high on my list of preferences, their half-hour set left a good overall impression thanks to the excellent voice and stage presence of lead singer Ren and the dynamic sound of the group.

Echo Train, live @ Fuzz Club (May 20th, 2016)

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