A dreary Wednesday evening may mask the momentous occasion going on in the Norwich city suburbs in what used to be a working TV studio. Epic Studios recently played host to WWE’s UK special but tonight a very different lineup is on the cards as Youth Killed It tackle their hometown show on tour in support of debut album ‘Modern Bollotics’.
Opening the night are their “mates” Marigolds, a local melodic indie band who also come in support of a recent release in the shape of EP ‘Asleep In The Sun’. At this early point in the evening, the crowd were thin which was probably for the best given the nervy performance. Although there were some strong, sultry indie-pop ideas on offer the execution left a lot to be desired in what was a pretty forgettable and uninspiring set. (2/5)
Another of Youth Killed It’s mates, Franko Fraize is next up, instantly instilling a feeling of warmth and joy in the room with every “Oi” lifting the spirits of a growing crowd still cold from the opening act. Almost a caricature of himself, Franko encompasses all things “lad” in a set showcasing his social commentary in the form of well-constructed rap. His beats take inspiration from hip hop and 90’s rave music acting as a backdrop to songs about being a young man in a modern world. A new song in the fray provided the real highlight of the set whilst the more well known ‘Tell Me A Word’ and ‘Only’ were executed with pinpoint accuracy.
Franko is one of those rare artists where the bits in between the songs are just as entertaining and “banter” is the order of business helping Franko to come across as charming, funny and extremely likeable. Accompanied by his backing band (two guitarists and a laptop) the big difference in tonight’s set is the addition of vocalist tone. His voice came as a shock to many, stunning the audience and sprinkling that added magic to an already well-honed set. (4/5)
surge of people seemingly appear out of nowhere, ready to take in tonight’s headliners Youth Killed It. Fresh from the release of debut album ‘Modern Bollotics’ (rated 4.5/5 by Already Heard) tonight is a chance to really get to know the band and the songs in an intimate setting to a hometown crowd. Taking to the stage, Youth Killed It waste no time showing they mean business with album opener ’(Jean-Claude) Van Mann’. Guitarist Carlos Montaro shows real flair and creativity with his lead lines shining over a band clearly no stranger to the stage, one that are full of energy and clearly on the same page when it comes to bettering an already well-liked outfit.
Vocalist Jack Murphy conducts proceedings as the band smash through single ‘Popstar’ and the brilliant ‘FUDGE’ with Murphy explaining the song’s origins with the word being spelt out on his GCSE results paper. It’s at moments like this that you can’t help but like Murphy and company as they share laughter amongst themselves and the rest of their “mates” in the room tonight. Fans were treated to flawless renditions of ‘Molly’ and latest single ‘What Happened?’, a set highlight, whilst songs like ‘Job Back’ shone with the band deviating from the recorded versions adding to the live experience and helping to move the set along at a great pace.
By the end of encore song, ‘Soul Trader’, Youth Killed It have firmly cemented themselves as a highly accomplished and revered live act not only pulling off but bettering every track on ‘Modern Bollotics’. The guys are rightfully enjoying the attention the album has brought and it’s smiles all round as they rush to see family and friends once the house music hits signalling the end of the evening. This band are the real deal and if tonight is any measure of their budding career it is sure to be a lengthy and prosperous one. (5/5)
With three bands all hailing from the Norfolk area, tonight is a real triumph for the local music scene. Although things got off to a slow start, Franko Fraize and Youth Killed It both showed real talent as well as unrivalled likability to make this a night to be remembered when each respective act reaches the heights they both so richly deserve.
Words by Jay Harrison (@Just_Jay_89)