Review: Young Guns, Scala

A hometown show; a homecoming show; an album release party. It was clear from the beginning that this triumvirate of factors had caused an almost tangible electricity to tonight’s proceedings. Opening the show are Southampton “punk ’n’ rollers” Dead! who, despite a good showing fail to incite a memorable reaction. Second up are ‘Nothing But Thieves’ whose blend of blues rock and soaring vocals held their own considerably better.

Despite that, tonight is all about one band.

Having not graced London with a headline performance for more than 2 and a half years you’d be forgiven for thinking Young Guns had forgotten about their UK roots (and indeed, vocalist Gustav Wood spends a significant portion of time pleading the opposite with the crowd) but it’s clear that the past two and a half years have been good to the band. With a sound honed by an almost incomprehensible number of shows since their inception in late 2008, the band take to the stage with the pent up energy of a 5 year old on Red Bull.

Their setlist is a nice blend of old and new, with debut-album-favourites like ‘Stitches’, ‘Crystal Clear’ and ‘Elements’ making an appearance alongside heavyweights ‘Dearly Departed’ and the eponymous ‘Bones’. It’s the tracks from new album ‘Ones and Zeros’ that really stand out though. Combining soaring choruses with hook-laden guitar riffs, the venue can barely contain the sheer epic nature of the band’s music and performance and its clear that Young Guns are meant for stages much, much bigger than this.