When a band comes home for an intimate show where it all began, you can’t help but expect something special. The energy of the crowd was filled to the brim as Young Guns took to the stage, and it didn’t drop in the hour-and-a-quarter long set.
A momentary bit of day-confusion aside (hey, it’s rock ‘n’ roll), the band were confident and met the crowd’s enthusiasm head-on, with leading man Gustav Wood ending up among them for most songs.
The set opened with the anthemic ‘Bones’, which quickly had the crowd singing along, though unfortunately the acoustics of the venue meant that much of the guitar precision was lost to the muddy bass and rhythm sections, but fans were too caught up in the excitement to care.
Vocally the band stayed mostly quiet, aside from effective yet unimpressive gang vocals, and let Wood handle crowd interaction. He explained that the band had got up to some pretty big shows on their last tour, and so they had wanted to come back and play a more ‘intimate’ venue. He also threw down the gauntlet early on, saying: “It’s the first night so we’re allowed to fuck up, but you guys have got to get this tour going.”
The band produced a typical selection of tunes, many from new album Bones, but balanced them with more well-known tunes like ‘Weight of the World’ and ‘Winter Kiss’. The latter triggered a particularly noticeable reaction, with a pit opening up on the floor despite the size of the venue.
In all the band put on a good show. The energy and swagger of Wood, who effectively channelled Lostprophet’s Ian Watkins in both stage presence and vocal style – no bad thing –, was balanced by a driving rhythm section and filled-out with the guitars to create a typically British slice of rock.
While the crowd might have already been on their side before they stepped up to the mics, they’d certainly won over a whole lot more by the end of the night.
James Michael Parry