Yes Cadets in Crawdaddy – August 28th 2010

Review by Kevin Donnellan
Photos by Alessio Michelini

Yes Cadets played a straightforward set in Crawdaddy on Saturday to a relatively small crowd. Given the success the Belfast band have enjoyed this year with the release of their singles ‘Canada’ and “Lies’ a bigger turnout might have been expected. But with many of Dublin’s gig-goers presumably still scraping together the pennies for Electric Picnic it was perhaps understandable.

The gig originally had Talulah Does The Hula in support but they unfortunately had to pull out earlier in the week when drummer Michael was assaulted, best wishes to Michael, we hope he makes a speedy recovery. But Clown Parlour and Funeral Suits ably deputised, with Funeral Suits, in particular, impressing. Going on last nights performance they should be on the ‘must-see’ list for the upcoming Hard Working Class Heroes Festival.

Onto the main act, Yes Cadets have impressed this year and established themselves as an Irish Foals, they’d presumably hate that label (bands are contractually obliged to hate all ‘labels’) but it’s hard not to compare their biggest hit so far, ‘Canada’, with Foals’ ‘Cassius’. With short, poppy keyboard-driven songs, they have a sound built to impress a young, drunk, packed audience. It wasn’t to be on Saturday though. For some musicians the audience is immaterial, there are singer-songwriters who could transform a room filled with no more than a handful of punters, but this doesn’t apply to synth-infused dance-rock where the energy between band and audience is a two-way deal.

The band stuck to a relatively short set-list of eight songs, taking in ‘Canada’, ‘Lies’ and a cover of ‘Rhythm of the Night’ along the way. There were no deviations from the sound of their recorded material – no flourishes or freak outs. Maybe a packed adoring crowd would admire this no-nonsense approach but with a half empty room in front of them the songs just ended up melting into each other. Of course turning every song into a eight minute prog-rock opus isn’t going to work either but a bit of variety or experimenting would definitely have lifted this above being merely technically competent.

Still this is a band who have released one of the Irish singles of the year in ‘Canada’ so they’re not going to be written off on the back of one mediocre gig. Hopefully next time they’re in town they’ll pull a bigger crowd and have added a dash of the unexpected to their live performance.

Set List

1. Fall on Your Sword
2. H.O.T
3. Burial/ Tongues
4. Golden Age
5. Lies
6. Rufio
7. Rhythm of the Night
8. Canada
9. Jacob