Right! I know reviewing a gig isn’t exactly about fixed gear bikes BUT I am justifying it by reminding you that a WHY? song is used in Fast Friday and Yoni even mentions riding a ‘fixie with the chopped horns turned in’ so bite me. When I first heard Alopecia by Why? I thought it sucked, it was only because Duncan kept saying how good it was that I gave it a second chance and eventually realised that it was a fucking great album. I worked backwards and discovered that Yoni Wolf had been putting out badass music for a long time, I became obsessed and they soon worked their way right up to #4 in my Last.fm chart.

why gig live photos review

Last saturday I hit up Bristol to see my most recent, in a long line of, obsession(s). They played at Thekla, which for anyone that doesn’t know, is a boat. You enter through the door, descend some steps and the bowels of the boat is where the magic happens. I like to inform people of things so get ready for this: the term ‘all ship shape and Bristol fashion’ relates to the harbour where there can be a difference of up to 30ft between tides. All ships moored in Bristol, therefore, need to have all their shit well secured so that they don’t get broke, you can thank me later.

The supports: Josiah Wolf (Yoni’s brother) had a lovely Jew-Fro and played nice songs on acoustic guitar, bass drum and some shells dangling onto a symbol all by himself. I Might Be Wrong were a typical run of the mill ‘indie band’, the only thing to note is that the guitarist looked like Andrew Hall from Butterflies.

why thekla bristol review

Thekla run a tight ship (see what I’ve done there?) and the running times were pretty spot on. Why? took to the stage just a few minutes later than they were meant to, the first thing that struck me was how small Yoni is, it’s very easy to imagine people you admire as being gigantic, almost God-like statues but he is, like, 5ft and a fart and very slight. This made his greatness as a lyricist and a performer even better for me, this dude truly is a lyrical wizard, he can twist and bend words into sentences of such complexity that it is nigh on impossible to shake them from your head once you hear them. Take the song ‘Against Me’ for example, just yesterday my woman shouted “WILL YOU STOP SINGING THAT BLOODY SONG?!”, and I just thought ‘I can’t’. Read and then listen…

I’ve been habitually rubbing the sleep from my eyes,
I see the rain does not respect state lines, why should you?
And I’ve seen dirt dry fires arise by pissing boy fountain statues
And they say electricity can travel up your piss stream

Oh am I too concerned with the burn of scrutiny?
Cold chased on run and covered like a horse before the race
Will I gain weight in later life?
And when will someone swing a scythe against me?

Out of every woman on earth, who will I mate with?
Or will I spit empty threats, until all that’s left, is a million zeros printed on a roll of ticker-tape?
And one last echo of the final tiny wave in my wake?
Will all my unused seed collect like mercury, in some kind of afterlife for halves?
Should I offer up my lats and pecs as stakes in death?

Whatever the will of the people shall be, Ohio and me

But am I too concerned with the burn of scrutiny?
Cold chased on run and covered like a horse before the race
Will I gain weight in later life?
And when will someone swing a scythe against me?

Oh I’d rest in peace on a freshly cleaned and steamed plush carpet for sure,
In the vacant third floor of a department store
Or be hung with four nails on the projection wall
In an empty convention center banquet hall

That’s right, I’m like everybody else is
Ashamed of sleep, I lie when a phone call wakes me

Oh am I too concerned with the burn of scrutiny?
Cold chased on run and covered like a horse before the race
Will I gain weight in later life?
And when will someone swing a scythe against me?

Download the Yoni Wolf Daytrotter session which is totally bodacious.

Yoni’s mad skillz as a live performer match his mad skillz as a songwriter, he commands the stage with the cocksureness of Morrissey mixed with the fun of Jonathan Richman. In between songs he engages with the audience, there was not a second during the whole gig where I felt anything but part of the show. Band and audience were as one, it almost brought a tear to my Japs eye. I feel like I should talk about the setlist so I will, I wish they had played The Fall of Mr Fifths, that is all I have to say on the matter, everything thing else was dandy: These Few Presidents, Rubber Traits, The Vowels Pt.2, Good Friday, Against Me, Sanddollars, These Hands, Brook And Waxing, A Sky For Shoeing Horses Under, Into The Shadows Of My Embrace, Eskimo Snow, By Torpedo Or Crohn’s, Crushed Bones.

bristol live music

I shot some photos during the gig (Flickr set), you will have noticed them no doubt and thought to yourself ‘damn, nice photos’, so thanks for that thought. At 10pm it was all over and I was left entirely fulfilled, something which happens very rarely to me at shows these days, what with me being a 28yr old (OLD) man that would like to strangle the last breath out of twats that go to gigs in cardigans and plimsoles and think they are the dogs bollocks. I was happy, I had my two t-shirts and a spring in my step.

yoni wolf shoes live

On Sunday I attempted riding from Bristol to Cardiff, which is only 45 miles, but after riding into a headwind for 30 of those I gave up and got the train from Newport. That ride was so fucking shit I even caught the bus to work on Monday cause I didn’t ever want to ride a bike again. I passed Paul Potts on the Severn Bridge which was kinda cool I suppose even though as I approached him I thought I was about to run over someone with Down Syndrome…

I thought I was done but this will interest you, I used to blog as Boxing Duck and posted live bootlegs, the last one I posted was a WHY? recording which you can download here. There are actually a whole load of cool downloads on my old blog so have a rummage around. Enjoy.