A generous, impressive show from a showman that's impossible to dislike
Malvika Padin
16:40 22nd November 2019

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Doncaster-born Dominic Harrison – known for his anthemic rap and gender-fluidity - has shot to the forefront of rock music as Yungblud this year with a distinctive energy that’s impossible to dislike - and he doesn’t disappoint at the iconic O2 Academy Brixton last night (21 November).

In the space of 18 months, the 22-year-old rapper - who is currently on his UK tour - has gone from strength to strength with an album, an EP and much more. And as he takes to the stage, decked out in the androgynous black clothes and the eyeliner he’s becoming famous for, effortlessly switching from emo to rock and back again, it’s clear that Yungblud and his fans are in a musical world of their own. 

Starting off strong with ‘21st Century Liability’, the fast-rising star basks in the echo of his audience's singalong, before segueing into other popular numbers including ‘parents’ and ‘I Love You, Will You Marry Me’. And while his music covers everything from teen frustrations to drugs and mental health, the underlying message – and certainly the reason he resonates with so many youngsters - in all his tracks is “taking care of each other”. 

Not only does he trust his fans to look after each other, but he trusts them to take care of him. Proving this by walking straight into the middle of the pit with his guitar to perform ‘Kill Somebody’, this trust is unique, refreshing and definitely an indication that Yungblud deserves his rise to fame. 

And while it’s tracks like the anthemic ‘I Think I’m OKAY’ – which works perfectly well even without Machine Gun Kelly - and big glam track ‘Loner’ that journeys through the idea of being an outsider (a topic his predominantly under-21 audience enjoy) there are moments that see the eyes of older members in the crowd light up. The atypical ballad ‘waiting on the weekend’ is the perfect example of this. Other tracks like ‘Anarchist’ and ‘original me’ are equally catchy and appealing. 

Yungblud is a master showman, handling a massive crowd with easy enthusiasm and a beaming grin –  at one moment telling his fans he loves them, encouraging them to hug the person next to them, and the next moment chit-chatting about Brexit and Boris Johnson. With all this, and an encore of three tracks including ‘braindead!’, ‘hope for the underrated youth’  and‘ Machine Gun (F*** The NRA)’, his set comes to an end, but there’s a sense of unity that remains even as the crowd breaks away to return home. 

Whether it’s an angst-ridden teen, a hopeful 20-something or anyone beyond the realm of music, Yungblud impresses, not just with his music but with the genuine love he seems to have for his fans. And to prove it, he sticks around after the show to meet whoever wants to meet him. 

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Photo: Jake Owens