Clap Your Hands Say Yeah in The Button Factory on 13th October 2014
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah have been around for ten years and four albums now, and in that time they have established themselves as a middle-of-the-road indie band; a tidy outfit, but never one that would stand out as a particularly amazing act. This show tonight marks the end of their current tour that coincided with the release of their fourth album ‘Only Run’. The album marked a move towards a more electronic sound, so the challenge for the band is how they can successfully integrate these new tracks with their older material
The band begin by creating a very relaxed and chill atmosphere on one of the new tracks Blameless and gently fade into Is This Home On Ice, a tune from their debut. This relaxed opening is a pleasant way to gently immerse the crowd into the set, but what is really impressive is how the band faded from one track to the next, despite the fact they were written ten years apart and at either end of the band’s career. Satan Said Dance blows away the soothing mood the band had created with a brilliant, discordant and aggressive intensity that doesn’t materialise very often on record. The crowd roar the chorus back to Ounsworth, and the vibrant, rocky track really ups the energy levels of the show.
The band maintain this standard throughout the first half of their set, culminating in the glorious The Skin Of My Yellow Country Teeth. The song is piled up with layers of catchy riffs, and is perhaps the band’s most recognisable number. Certainly it’s the best tonight, generating an easy, almost lazy atmosphere that’s impossible not to sway along to. Ounsworth performs solo for one song after this, and the stripped down feeling was a surprising, but effective way way to come down from the high of Yellow Country Teeth.
It was at this point that the band began to rapidly lose momentum. Having thrown most of their best tracks into a thrilling opening, the band showed a lack of versatility as the show progressed. Tracks such as Over and Over Again ambled and stumbled along at a slow, meandering pace. Ounsworth’s vocals were frustratingly low in the mix all evening, and he didn’t seem to have the ability to do anything aside from his distinctive wobbly warble. Heavy Metal closed out the show, and despite a lot of enthusiastic stage jumping at the start of the tune, the song itself just couldn’t match the energy of the band members, and the set petered out tamely. CYHSY made the mistake of giving too much too soon, with the opening half of their set far surpassing the mediocrity of the latter half.