Yellow Days is the nom de plume of disgustingly young George van den Broek. The 18-year-old has been attracting attention from all over the musical blog land for his slacker-style crooning and debut EP Harmless Melodies, which was well-received. It was, therefore, no surprise that his gig at the diddy Corsica Studios was sold out on a baking hot evening in London, with fans (human) jostling for space underneath the fans (mechanical).
I’ve always assumed that there was an unwritten rule that support acts should sound vaguely like the main act so kudos to whoever picked Lord Apex as the support here and had me worried that I’d turned up to the wrong gig. To be fair, the rapper did get an appreciative crowd warmed up, getting his ‘team’ up on stage to jump around and half-encouraging, half-threatening the audience that they had to dance.
When it was time for Yellow Days, van den Broek came on wearing a t-shirt tucked into old-man trousers and with a haircut that I assume must be currently cool among the young people. The live band consists of him on guitar, a bassist/keyboardist, another keyboardist squirrelled away in a corner and a drummer.
On record his voice is impressive and it doesn’t disappoint live. It’s soulful with various yelps and whoops to show off the range, and the band does a good job of backing him up. There’s not much in the way of stage patter but he looks totally comfortable up there; it’s him doing us the favour, not the other way round. I thought ‘Go Home’ and latest track ‘That Easy’ sounded particularly good.
The downside, which will hopefully be sorted with time, is that he might need a few songs of a slightly different style. After a while, everything began to blur into one, especially with very little crowd interaction. You can get away with it in a 45-minute set but much longer and the mind might start to wander.
Overall though everything is impressively assured for such a young man and the crowd enjoyed it, wobbling around contentedly. He’s on tour in the UK again in October so get in quick – give it an album and a couple of years and I imagine festival bookers all over the land will be fighting to book him for their lazy sunny afternoon slots.