TVD Live Shots: Spiritualized and YAK at the Eventim Apollo, 9/21

If I never see another live show in my life after watching Spiritualized last week in London, I think I’d be ok with that. This was one of the most incredible musical performances I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen thousands. Start with one of the best songwriters on the planet, add a live orchestra alongside the band, top that off with a full choir, and you have the makings of a once in a lifetime gig.

Spiritualized is best known for the critically acclaimed 1997 release of Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space, which NME magazine named as their Album of the Year, besting Radiohead’s OK Computer and The Verve’s Urban Hymns. This not only put them on the map but instantly secured them as one of the most important artists of the 1990s with We Are Floating in Space acclaimed as one of the best albums by virtually all the major music press around the world.

The Eventim Apollo was the perfect setting for this sold out extravaganza which was led by the man behind Spiritualized, Jason Pierce, directing the two dozen-plus musicians across the legendary Apollo stage. One would not be wrong to compare the wall of sound to the sort of experience you’d get from seeing a Pink Floyd show during their peak. It was a perfect combination of brilliant songwriting alongside stellar musicianship, with the icing on the cake being the orchestra and the choir.

It was more than a concert; it was a fucking experience. It was haunting; it was glorious, it will forever be stuck in my head for every moment the choir director unleashed a set of a dozen or so gorgeous voices elevating each song they touched to a whole new level of epicness. And that’s coming from someone who’s not even really a fan of choirs. (I am now, and I think every band should have one at some point!)

The eighth studio album from Spiritualized, And Nothing Hurt, was released on 7 September 2018 is the band’s first album in six years since 2012’s Sweet Heart Sweet Light. What a treat it was to hear the album played in its entirety that evening bookended with selections from the band’s celebrated catalog.

If that wasn’t enough of a treat, my favorite band in the UK at the moment, Yak opened the set with what I would call a sort of subdued version of what these guys usually do in the clubs. I don’t think they’ve ever played to a seated audience, so it took them a minute to turn it up to eleven as they are known to do. But sadly, there would be no stage diving for eclectic frontman Oli Burslem. And that’s okay as I got to hear some of the new songs from this outstanding young band who are primed to not only be the next big thing but the next big thing with authority and credibility.

YAK

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