Years & Years At The Olympia Theatre – Review & Photos
The Olympia was alive with the excited forms of avid Years & Years fans last Thursday; with their fluorescent style of electro-pop, the London based band manage to merge heart-wrenchingly smooth vocals with beats infused with synth and brightness. It seems only fair that the trio’s music has been described as both ‘music you can dance and cry to.’ The band were destined for glory when they were named as winners of the BBC Sound of 2015 Poll (an honour previously granted to such critically praised hit makers as Sam Smith, Adele, and Ellie Goulding), and they have seem to have gone from strength to strength since then. Judging by the crushing of bodies into the wonderfully intimate venue of the Olympia Theatre, the band’s fan base is steadily growing as does their accolades. The brilliance of their music resides in their infectious overlapping of genres, combining R&B, house, synth, and classic pop all into their critically acclaimed debut album, Communion.
Frontman and vocalist, Olly Alexander, burst onto the stage immediately, his body writhing in time with tracks such as ‘Take Shelter’ and ‘Foundation’. His entire form epitomises the very style of Years & Years, with equal parts of elegance and abandon. How he operates on stage is simply mesmerising, he’s having as good a time as his fans and he wants them to know it. Pulling fans on to stage to dance with him, he seems to actually engage with them and takes pleasure in the outpour of adoration that was simply palpable throughout the night.
The slickness of the band’s performance as they move from playing tracks from Communion to Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’ is actually quite impressive. Alexander makes it his own, hitting every single one of the pop songstresses’ notes before admitting ‘Britney’s tied up in Vegas tonight’. However, what really shines through during the band’s performance is how, underneath all the luminous synth, is the emotive manner of the vocals. Each song is awash with Alexander’s graceful singing and, considering your mood, you can laugh or cry to it. How the audience’s temperament could so rapidly shift from giddy delight to songs like ‘Desire’ to thorny, moody swaying upon hearing ‘Eyes Shut’ demonstrates the remarkable nature of Years & Years, their music has such a powerful range that it’s only natural that they’ve garnered all these headlining gigs and praises in recent months. Considering how impressively the audience sung along with the closing track, ‘King’, it’s clear that Years & Years’ star can only keep rising from this point. The titillating moment this song began marked a swell of cheers and screams of delight, and if this is the reaction they receive whilst touring with their first album, then one can only assume that everything from this point on will be upheld as an instant classic.
Photos by Anamaria Meiu
Words by Elaine McDonald