Live: Young Legionnaire

Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar

Saturday 25 September 2011

Young Legionnaire started off their first UK headline tour with an electrifyingly energetic set of post-hardcore delights.

While the audience at Sticky Mike’s wasn’t quite as large as expected, the crowd still made a generous amount of noise for the band, and the warm atmosphere translated to the band’s performance, who threw their all into a tight tour de force.

What was clear from the off is that the trio are all superbly talented musicians, and bring enough to the table individually to craft a genuinely exciting three-piece.

Dean Pearson said little from behind the drum-kit, but his ferocious-yet-intricate style perfectly complemented Paul Mullen and Gordon Moakes’ riffs. He also added a little beef to the band’s appearance after removing his shirt to reveal a chiselled drummer’s torso, doing away with any notions that Young Legionnaire may be just another set of spindly songsmiths.

Lead singer and guitarist Mullen threw himself into each and every song, with legs arching as he ripped through complex chord patterns while finding ample space for melodies.  Bassist Moakes (of Bloc Party fame) is a more reserved character, but he let his faultless baselines speak for him until he piped up about the carpet on stage feeling homely.

While the harder lines were welcome, the trio soar when they stumble upon melodies in amongst the ordered chaos, as with the gorgeous, groove-laden ‘Blood Dance’.  Elsewhere, ‘Black Lions’ showed a real ear for a catchy chorus, while ‘Numbers’ was reminiscent of an angrier Placebo, with a guitar riff that practically exploded out from the chorus.

Young Legionnaire deserved a larger audience than they received, but if they carry on in Saturday’s fashion, then they’ll surely get it.

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