Much like affordable housing, there are a couple of things going on in the bowels of Soho’s revamped Borderline that the capital doesn’t often see: a band working itself into a pouring sweat and an audience properly losing its shit as bodies variously slam, jump and crowd surf. Yonaka are in full flight and their fans are with them all the way.
The Brighton four-piece have been blazing a trail since their inception just a few years ago and while there are still a few rough sound edges to iron out, tonight’s performance nonetheless finds Yonaka showing which way they’re headed and it ain’t back home. Blending crunching riffs with elements of hip-hop and dubstep and all wrapped up with an unashamed pop sensibility, this is very much a rock band for the here and now. If Garbage were to form today, they wouldn’t be million miles away from here.
As evidenced by earlier single ‘Ignorance’ and set closer ‘Bubblegum’, Yonaka effortlessly glide their numerous influences to make a sound that’s wholly their own. Tempos change with an almost indecent ease and the audience reacts in kind as they turn up the heat in this sold out basement venue.
Singer Theresa Jarvis isn’t one for standing still as she dances across the stage, possessed by the music. And though George Edwards holds his guitar at a worryingly nipple-warming height, his riffs interlock with the rhythm section of bassist Alex Crosby and drummer Robert Mason. There are some neat flourishes in the form of some sub-bass that adds an extra dimension and a rumble in the stomach.
New song ‘Honey Killer’ is a consolidation of what Yonaka have put into their music and is immediately greeted like an old friend. There’s no encore, just a full stop at the end of statement that announces the arrival of these new kids in town.