Live Review

Years & Years, Heaven, London

5th March 2015

This is one immersive set.

Murmurings about a boyish synth pop trio fronted by an actor turned into chatter early last year. By Christmas it had gathered steam and become buzz, and now, following the publishing of everyone’s ‘Tips for 2015’ lists and a handful of immaculately turned out singles, that buzz has turned into a positive furore. If the formula sounds shallow, then think again.

Appearing on their first ever headline tour, Olly, Mikey, and Emre might’ve been slightly taken aback at the sheer hysteria as their impressive lighting rig began pulsating in time with opener ‘Foundation’. The Moog’s throb and Olly’s recognisable drifting vocals coat Heaven’s funnel-like interior, before the atmosphere shatters with the segway into ‘Take Shelter’. This is the first appearance from their modestly sized but flawless catalogue of hits, and it was sung back at them line for line.

The heady mix of dubby ambience and sing song hooks that permeates their music has Olly gyrating and vibing throughout, centre stage and outwardly beaming. While Emre and Mikey pour diligently over their industrial array of synthesisers, he could just be enjoying himself at the club, but for a clinically measured vocal performance. ‘Desire’ sends the crowd into a spin yet again, while the vocal on new track ‘Ties’ is pure R&B, but draped in Mikey’s arpeggiated synth work, takes on the feel of a club stormer.

As far as formulas go, it’s a wonder nobody tried to contrive this one before. With the lightshow, Heaven’s concentrated sonic environment, and the band’s flawless execution of their glistening catalogue, this is one immersive gig. Years & Years’ songwriting chops are undeniable. With production influences ranging from Diplo’s more toned down work, to the sombre minimalism of SBTRKT, they’ve absorbed some truly infectious source material. All of this wrapped around Olly’s hook laden melodies makes for songs that just refuse to go away.

Photos: Abi Dainton

Tags: Years & Years, Reviews, Live Reviews

Read More

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Stay Updated!

Get the best of DIY to your inbox each week.

Latest Issue

June 2024

With Glass Animals, Los Campesinos!, Alfie Templeman, Lava La Rue and many more.

Read Now Buy Now Subscribe to DIY