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London based trio Yak, paid Manchester’s Soup Kitchen a visit on Friday night (8 May) as part of their first UK tour.

The set was introduced with an intense crescendo of bass and drums. With a Red Stripe in hand and a mop-covered face, in came lead singer, Oli Burslem. Although initially I could not take my eyes off Burslem who holds an uncanny resemblance to Mick Jagger, Elliot Rawson on drums definitely stole his limelight. The energy and passion radiating from Rawson was infectious and it was clear to see that he was the rock holding it all together.

The trio teased their audience with periods of serenity before hitting hard with ferocious psychedelic stints. To stray from the norm, Burslem alternated between catchy guitar riffs and improvisation on a synth, which added something a little more exciting to the performance.

It was a fierce show with masses of energy, which was admirable considering the venue’s atmosphere was far from buzzing. The set resolved with a recital of Yak’s debut EP Plastic People. It was refreshing to see a band so skilled in their respective instruments who were not trying too hard to be edgy.

Helen Burt

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