LIVE: Youngr (Oslo Hackney, London, 2/3/17)

Youngr (London, 2/3/17) ©

Every now and then a gig comes along that leaves you a little lost for words – which isn’t great when you’ve got a review to write. But this was one of those nights when you exit the building wondering quite what you had just seen and heard.

Multi-instrumentalist Youngr – aka Dario Darnell – wrapped up his short-but-sweet seven gig European tour with this sold out date in East London ahead of a month-long stint of live shows across the US. Having first caught people’s attention with a video of his incredible take on Temper Trap‘s anthemic Sweet Disposition which went viral, his even broader one-man-band talents have come to the fore with plenty of his own material, all of which is full of hooks, drops, funk and a frankly rude level of musicianship.

A whirlwind set lasting just over an hour had it all. Not only does Darnell have a technical capability that is frankly bewildering – looping and switching from drums to guitar and synths with vocals with complete ease – but his stage presence is immense. Admittedly, he has real music pedigree; his father is the legendary August Darnell, better known in the 1980s as Kid Creole of Kid Creole and The Coconuts. His own music career has been bubbling up for a while now though, having been part of band Picture Book along with his brother Lorne (who was on hand for this run of live shows offering backing on bass), and developing his own solo material for the past couple of years.

Highlights of the night were debut single Out Of My System, September Sun, and of course, Youngr was duty-bound to reprise Sweet Disposition, which he did brilliantly. He couldn’t resist wrapping up the European tour with an extended encore that included a version of Craig David‘s Fill Me In, given a unique Youngr twist of course.

It was a BIG performance, certainly for the dimensions of Hackney’s pleasant-if-compact Oslo. If Youngr doesn’t become a household name within the next couple of years then, well, there’s something seriously wrong with people.

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