East India Youth: Birthdays, Dalston – live review

East India Youth

Birthdays, Dalston

May 29th 2013

Having recently signed to our friends, The Quietus’ label (through which he released his recent Hostel EP) East India Youth star could to said to be “in the ascendancy”. All he needs now is a great live review from a certain music culture website run by a certain Mr John Robb & he’ll know he’s made it…

Cheap gigs on a school night can make those of us who are hungry for live music rather happy and
FREE gigs on a school night are now getting common in these parts. Adults can often be seen skipping along busy pavements occasionally stopping to help old women cross the road or visiting the local off licence in their quest for a night out for the price of a can of Strongbow (other alcoholic beverages are also available).

Free gigs on a school night with FREE BEER ……well….. we simply haven’t had time to think about how fab this is yet but someone here this evening had this idea which might mean it won’t be too long before we’re getting cash thrust in our hands just for turning up.

This is East London yet again coming up with ideas to get punters into small rooms with flashing lights. The venue is Birthdays in Dalston and EAST INDIA YOUTH, who happen to have blessed our ears with a couple of aural beauties already this year are out to play. Or to be precise IS out to play.

This man is called William Doyle and he sounds like you’d like the Pet Shop Boys  (Google “West End Girls)  or Gary Numan (Google “Are Friends Electric”) to sound like if they collaborated with “Fuck Buttons” (Google “Olympians” and  ‘The Red Wing’  and “Surf Solar” and “Let’s See If There Are Any Ghosts In Here, Yeah?” and “Sweet Love for Planet Earth”).

He looks and sounds like Doctor Who struggling to control the Tardis, or in this case a bass guitar and some other gadgets sitting on the table in front of him.

Just as we start to move closer to the surrounding walls and look for something to focus our grip on we get what the Doctor doesn’t have… a big bass drum, some squeaky clean glitches and some nice thumping break beats to stop us worrying about any space dust, and some songs that although a little long in coming are well worth the wait once they eventually arrive. We have swooning synth drones not a million decibels from the Eno / Philip Glass tunes from the past and at times we get reminded of mid ’90s “Trainspotting” sound trackers “Underworld”.

Equipment wise we can see a laptop, some little boxes with buttons on to press and a keyboard that the owner doesn’t seem to have enough fingers for.

East India Youth is the product of one man making music (I presume) at home like a lot of the population but getting off his arse to entertain the likes of us on various occasions recently has warmed our hearts and sound tracked our dinner times as well as emptied the pockets of his new label “Quietus” who care enough to start a label simply to allow the likes of you and I to hear this stuff. “Quietus” must be hearing what we can hear and as usual it’s always nice to see someone else putting their money where there mouths and ears are.

As we witness this we have our thoughts confirmed that this man has songs here that we can or will or already have fallen in love with.

The early evening set tonight blends each song into the next, giving the listener a good ten minutes of head nodding before the foot tapping can begin and before we know it we’re actually singing along to “Heaven, who knows” and joining in sheepishly to the a capella intro of “Looking for Someone” . In time to come we’ll be dancing and waving our arms in the air to this but East London being East London means we’re all far too cool for that just yet.

There’s an album due out sometime this year that, if like the 12″ released before, will be well worth seeking out. He’s getting thrown onto all the usual summer festivals and will be well worth the look whilst your mates are probably still queuing for the loos.

Check this guy’s tunes out in the confines of a midweek hostelry or in your own living rooms now because you’ll be far too fucked in a couple of years when dancing to this in the middle of the night to even contemplate what it is you’re gurning too.

East India Youth is on Facebook, Soundcloud & Twitter.

All words by Keith Goldhanger. More writing my Keith on Louder Than War can be found in his author’s archive. Keith can also be found on Twitter.

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Keith Goldhanger -- Spent the '90s as a frontman with London noise merchants HEADBUTT - spent the '80s in 'Peel favourites' BASTARD KESTREL. Spent a few years mashing up tunes and remixing bands as HIDEOUS WHEEL INVENTION. Is often out and about getting in the way of things and bumping his head on low ceilings - Will give your band the time of day but will dislike any band that balances full pints of alcohol on the top of guitar amps (Not keen on lead singers that wear hats either).


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