Live Music + Gig Reviews

Yeti @ Barfly, London

15 December 2006


If Yeti didn’t exist, would it be necessary to invent them? Well, no, in all honesty. There just isn’t any need: we’ve had the sixties, we’ve got the ability to cherry-pick the best bits from it and we’ve got the ability to sit back with playlist constructed from said good bits, and let the good vibes roll. Man.

But need is a funny thing. No one needed the fucking Kooks, and look what we’ve got creeping into best of year lists, complete with straw boater and vocal twat. So while the world might not tremble with the oncoming of Yeti, while empires may not fall at their feet as they trot past, there is the distinct likelihood the braying masses could well sway gently into a state of blissful adoration without really knowing why.

Sure, given time and inclination, you could come to the conclusion that Yeti sound like X, or Y, or even Z. You’d probably be right too, but if you were stood here tonight you just wouldn’t care.

They are, like Mr. Kipling’s very own band, purveyors of exceedingly good songs. Merry Go Round sinks down like a freezing fog of whimsy and Never Lose Your Sense Of Wonder sounds spectacular enough to not feel at all right emerging from a sweaty bar in North London, longing instead for grassy fields, summers of love and naked flower girls dancing cheek to cheek.

But this isn’t just some Magic Numbery, harmonic slush-fest for people with a low tolerance to Hugh Grant. Not with John Hassall staring out at the audience with steely-eyed intent, demanding adoration, like Ian Brown‘s cocky younger brother. And certainly not when they can crack out songs like Magpie Blues, a strangely close bedfellow of Supersonic by Oasis, albeit filtered through a hundred years of New Orleans bedrock.

Christ, they’re likable. Well influenced, capable, and more than able to take what God, and more usefully, The Beatles, have given them, and construct something which warrants attention.

They may think of themselves as a totally unfashionable band, and songs dedicated to mothers-in-law certainly won’t have Dazed & Confused wet with excitement, but it’s not entirely true. And it isn’t just The Libertines connection (which actually couldn’t feel further away tonight), it’s just that in a field full of pretenders, Yeti feel like the real thing.

In Like With You is simply great, Midnight Flight is a grand end, and the whole gig washes by like a glorious swoop of feel-good nostalgia. Revolutionary it isn’t. But then again, how often to you want to be revolved? Yeti make perfect furry sense.


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More on Yeti
Yeti @ Barfly, London
Yeti – One Eye On The Banquet
Yeti @ Louisiana, Bristol