Clap Your Hands Stay Warm
Written By Michael Wood Monday, January 30th, 2012
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at The Cockpit, Leeds
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah are a spirited bunch but in the half full main room of The Cockpit at one point one can see the curling mist of breath coming from the audience. Coats are on, there is room to swing, and it is distinctly chilly.
The band, oft talked of of having listened to a few too many Talking Heads circa 1986 records, are an interesting proposition. The early songs - crowd pleasing and coming towards the end of the meaty set - focus on the kind of deliberate quirk which Talking Head point to while newer work is more rough and ready and perhaps better for it. Alec Ounsworth's staccato vocal style of five years ago when the band first broke has been replaced by something more powerful and more able. He hits notes, guitars fuzz, it feels more real.
Which suggests a band in transition. Going from what made them known to something they are feeling out the edges of. Perhaps this accounts for the relatively Spartan audience showing. The tenancy for old favourites to dominate is common in most gigs but, when styles change and some are left behind, the effect can be on of dilution.
Not that that should deter band or audience. The newer work has an edge which is interesting, 4AD like if I were looking for comparisons, and more demanding. A shame then that it did not demand a bigger audience.
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