Friday the 5th June saw Young Guns light up Academy 2, with their first headline show in Manchester in 2 and a half years. Bringing in fans old and new, they offered an electric show which tailored to the crowd fantastically, and shows Young Guns are ready to be back on the British music scene.
A special mention first has to go to Dead!, who despite opening to a stubborn crowd certainly managed to win over a few fans from the audience. The on stage energy of the band was infectious, and worked as a good warm up for the growing crowd. It was particularly notable how well the band seemed to move together as one despite being relatively new to the circuit. All in all a very enjoyable opening set and ones to keep and eye on in the future.
The second support band Nothing But Thieves are a rapidly growing Essex based band, with a very distinctive style. This band clearly has a long experience of working together, and the performance was seemingly flawless with the perfect harmonies filling up the room. Particular love was felt for their closing song ‘Ban All The Music’, where Conor Mason’s Jack Black-esque tones closed what had been a very solid set.
Young Guns hit the stage to a rapturous reception, with a strong opening of ‘I Want Out’ from their new single ‘Ones and Zeroes’. What’s clear from the opening few songs is how far this band have come during their 2 year absence – Wood’s connection with the crowd was undeniable and effortless, as he gets the crowd jumping through new and only classics combined. It is particularly nice to see the return of (attempted) human tower building during ‘Towers’, a flash back to the Bones tour back in 2013.
It was particularly nice to see so many songs from the All Our Kings Are Dead album, with ‘Weight Of The World’ and ‘Stitches’ resonating strongly with the crowd of 400+ belting out the lyrics. However it was sad to see the departure of ‘There Will Be Rain’ from their standard set. This was balanced by a beautiful soulful rendition of ‘You Are Not’, which despite a slower melody was greatly appreciated as the crowd stood arm in arm and caught their breath.
What was particularly worthy of note was how much this show clearly meant the the band. As expressed by Wood several times, it was a relief and delight to band and fans alike that to be reunited after so many years the magic was still there. As they closed the set with their hit single ‘Bones’, every voice in the room serenaded the band out, with Wood coming to the barrier for one last moment with his crowd.
All in all this was an absolutely fantastic show for Young Guns, showing that whether old material or new it was still very much Young Guns and the crowd loved every minute if it.