April 18th 2015
It was my first visit to the Red Gallery, humming with hipster vibes and creativity as the red lights glowed through it. Kicking off the night were Adolescent, a duo rocking the Mac and the bass, interchanging and twisting their way through classically structured songs filtered through a modern groove. After Bo En‘s half hour set my brow hurt. From being so furrowed in utter confusion. The crowd was split between those wondering whether this guy was for real, and those bounding around and totally having it, appearing to show no hint of irony. Imagine twenty seconds taken from every song in VH1’s Top 100 One Hit Wonders list mashed together in succession with apparently scant regard for tempo, genre or fit.
But the support is not what everyone came from, and after Bo en, Yumi Zouma were even more of a welcome respite than they may have otherwise been. The sound was less vibrant than on record, taking a more lo fi approach than the slick production on record. Stylishly rocking with understatement through tracks off their recent second release EP II, as well as those from last year’s self titled debut, tunes such as Brae, Long Walk Home For Parted Lovers and Catastrophe. Engaging and intuitive, this is dream pop delivered with power. Lead singer Kim is cute and captivating, dancing around the stage with laid back enthusiasm, whilst Josh and Charlie rock out behind her. It’s an altogether pleasant set, using the original meaning of pleasant – enjoyable, attractive, fun and entertaining. On tonight’s performance it’s clear why Yumi Zouma have started to creep their way into the hearts of so many music fans. If 2014 was their year, 2015 doesn’t look set to be any different.