Opening a mainstage at any festival has to be an intimidating experience, yet as Whenyoung kicks off All Points East’s ode to indie, it seems they were born for this task. The Irish trio have definitely paved their own path as a live band, building on the experience of warming up for indie establishments such as The Vaccines and Peace.
Opening with a Patti Smith sample, Whenyoung soon delves headfirst into the set, unleashing the truly captivating melodies we’ve come to know them by. Tracing throwback influences, the group mix 70’s New York with timeless pop hooks and a contemporary flair. Their idiosyncrasies melodically are properly backed with an endearing live approach. Daring to let imperfections shine, Whenyoung swoons piercing vocals, and smug basslines, balancing the sharp edge between dreamy and fiercely real.
Not shying away from making a statement, Aoife take a moment to remind us to never forget Grenfell. Though the words are touching, he musical ode speaks even clearer. ‘The Others’ tackles the ignorance that is so often used as a protective shield in society. An essence that seeps through Whenyoung’s entire catalogue.
With caring optimism and an attentive eye, Whenyoung carry themselves terrifically, as if being on this massive stage was what they were born to do. As the set comes to a close, you just wish it would never end. And one thing’s for sure, Whenyoung are a band ready to take the world, the question is just when.
Words by Aurora Henni Krogh, feature image by Patrick Gunning