It’s a Thursday night at ThinkTank, and, after using up all of my data trying to locate this place, I’m ushered out of the cold into a red lit, rocker collage of a room. The dingy yet eccentric atmosphere of the venue itself seems like a match made in heaven for the headliners of the night - indie rock trio Yak, consisting of Wolverhampton lads Oli Burslem, Andy Jones and their adopted New Zealand born drummer Elliot Rawson.
The old school synth set up on the small stage is blaring hypnotically as the guys take centre spotlight, building up the crowds’ excitement with every teasing strum of their guitars. They create a whirlwind of sounds before kicking off the night with shattering of clashes which automatically forms a manic yet intimate mosh pit before any lyrics are spoken. Everyone is battering into each other with such happiness from the psychedelic vibes that Yak are giving off, even those standing on the side lines can feel it - their feet shuffling and heads banging left, right and centre.
Heavier tracks like ‘Heavens Above’ and ‘Hungry Heart’ keep this vicious atmosphere going, with everyone throwing themselves into the synthesised guitar beats and drum clashes by throwing themselves into one another. Usually I’d get involved, but spectating the pit was in itself just as glorious as being in it, such joyfully angry faces everywhere but a real sense of community too - something Yak as a band really manage to succeed in creating with their music.
My favourite moments of the night can easily be summed up by two particular songs. ‘Take It’ was like being in a total state of hypnosis, the bass of the song projected with such strength across the room you could feel it going right through you, the end of the song itself was like snapping out of an incredible dazed daydream. ‘Please Don’t Wait For Me’ was also a highlight, as two fellas in the crowd drunkenly started slow dancing together which everyone applauded, it was good to see a sense of fun amongst fellow rockers of all ages.
“Thanks for coming out tonight guys, it really means a lot to us” says frontman Oli, “we’re not arrogant pricks, well, at least we don’t think we are, this has been special”. With just 5 minutes left till curfew, one final pit gets started up as the night comes to a close. Oli dives of the stage into the crowd, guitar and microphone still in hand and is consumed by the crowd who are all so eager to get hold of him. Everyone starts climbing onto the stage and jumping off in their last moment of pure anarchy, sweat everywhere and smiles all round. It truly was an incredibly special gig.
Yaks new album Alas Salvation is out now to buy or stream, I’d definitely recommend giving them a listen.