The Old Fire Station, Bournemouth

The Young Knives - November 2005
Words & Picture by Sam Goodman

“Ouch” was the first thought that sprung to mind when The Young Knives took to the stage. This was through no fault of theirs however, just far too much treble through the PA system, but it still made for an uncomfortable opening song. Having had to sit through a pretty poor show from the previous band whose sole interesting feature was the height (or lack of it) of their bass player, I was hoping for something special from the Young Knives; they didn’t totally disappoint but nor did they leave me dying for more. Their presence onstage was great, all wired posturing and some fine strutting from bassist House, which made them look the part completely, especially with their very Nu-New Wave uniform of white shirt, black tie, white/black guitar. The interplay with the audience was also superb. By the end of the night the ‘Knives had the crowd eating out of their collective hand and dancing on the stage. All their songs were played with energy and proficiency; clearly this is a band that knows their stuff. Unfortunately this is also their biggest drawback; The Young Knives have a formula and seem reluctant to stray from it. After twenty-five minutes of very similar stop/start dynamics and stabbing, spiky guitars I’d had about as much as I could take. If I’d have made as much use of the student bar (three pints for under a fiver!) as some of the audience had, I think I would have been tempted to join the band onstage too, caught up in the energy of it all. But, in my impassive sobriety, it all began to gel into one long, amorphous lump. I’d see them again but only during Happy Hour.