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Live Review Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

American alt-rock band that now appear to have weathered the early barrage of hype and return to Leeds with a knockout performance.

Live Review: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

At first glance, CYHSY looks like a complicated set of letters thrust together chaotically and haphazardly. However, in reality, this American indie rock band is refreshingly simple: good tunes played to an audience of fans who can’t wait to listen to them.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah formed in 2004 and gained international success through a flurry of online exposure that was sealed with their self-released, self-titled debut album in 2005. A second album, Some Loud Thunder, followed in 2007 and then the rumour every devotee fears. The band was “taking a break” and the thousands of international followers that had accumulated could only sit back and hope that it wouldn’t be forever. Fortunately, 2011 brought the third album and the return of the band to stages across the world including, on Monday 30th January, The Cockpit in Leeds.

The five band members with lead vocalist and guitarist, Alex Ounsworth, at the helm, certainly didn’t waste any time reacquainting themselves with performing. They knew what they were doing and they knew their audience. The Leeds fans, cramped together on The Cockpit dance floor, beer spilling, beer swigging and feet moving, didn’t need unnecessary chat and pointless introductions. They were there to see a band that had been away for too long and they were there to hear the music. So Alec stood at the front of the stage with one guitar and then the next and then the harmonica as the rest of the band helped him project their sound loudly and with passion.

CYHSY went straight for a debut album classic, taking the audience back to the beginning, with ‘Let the Cool Goddess Rust Away’immediately stamping the CYHSY stripped back sound on the venue. The set continued with a mix of old and new: ‘Details of War’, ‘Misspent Youth’and their newest single release ‘Manic’from the latest album Hysterical amongst others.

‘Is this Love?’kept the tempo up and got the crowd moving as the band edged towards the end of their set before leaving to a cacophony of whoops and returning to an abundance of cheers for the encore which included ‘Siesta (for Snake)’ and ended on ‘Heavy Metal’, the ultimate contradiction in terms as Alec whipped his harmonica out for the last time and left a striking message hanging in the air. The apparent hiatus is over: CYHSY and their distinct sound are back. And Leeds loved it.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah played The Cockpit on Monday 30th January, 2012.

Posted on Friday 10th February 2012
Charlotte Court

The Cockpit

Swinegate, Leeds, LS1 4AG

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