Gang of Youths have all the makings of a memorable band: they’ve got great personality, discipline and friendship, but most of all they play straight up music with heart.
Their new album The Positions is curious and unique in concept alone – detailing the emotional reactions and experiences lead singer and guitarist David Le’aupepe had over the course of a four year relationship with a woman who had terminal cancer. So truly, the free album launch party they held at Frankie’s Pizza on Sunday evening was an absolute privilege to attend.
Frankie’s Pizza is the Sydney hub of grunge: it’s a smokey hole in the wall with decent pizza, alcohol served in plastic mugs, band posters from decades ago, and a whole lot of punk rock cred – so it gave a true hard rock feel to the night. It meant that Gang of Youths could easily transition from an indie rock mellow sound to a heavier sound that appears in tracks like “Radioface”:
David’s vocals very much brought to mind The National – emotional and coarse, yet warm and inviting. He exuded calm confidence throughout the set despite the raw content of his songs, which was on show particularly during “Magnolia” – a defiant song about a failed drunk suicide attempt.
And as with any great album launch, Gang of Youths had organised a special guest – fellow Sydney artist Montaigne – to help them sing “Benevolence Riots“. And you know how we feel about Aussies supporting Aussies. It’s always a winner.
The band’s gratitude for how far they’ve come made the whole venue feel like it was filled with a fan family, with Dave running to hug everyone in the crowd that he could. It was a special gig, because it could be one of the last of that size they ever play.
To catch Gang of Youths live, grab your tickets to The Positions Tour this May/June before they run out!
By Erin Rooney