Making his Royal Albert Hall debut, flamboyant emo-rocker Yungblud headlined the third in this week’s ongoing series of Teenage Cancer Trust benefit concerts at the Royal Albert Hall. Dressed in an unusually understated suit jacket and matching shorts, the 24-year-old Doncaster native drew a rowdy young crowd whose voices almost drowned out his own. The androgynous singer is known as Dominic Harrison in his family, many of whom attended this show. “I put on a suit because my mother is here,” he smiled.
Opening for Yungblud were the Nova Twins, aka London duo Amy Love and Georgia South, who are finally earning their well-deserved respect as one of Britain’s most exciting new bands after being grounded by the pandemic for much of their time. of the last two years. Accompanied by a live drummer, their set was brief but excitingly twisted, with brutalist funk-rock tracks like Cleopatra and Undertaker, generating a thunderously kinetic maelstrom of noise-pop, grime, dub, thrash metal, pointed political rage and feminist sass. . Even in this compact format, these young women looked like big stars in waiting.
Yungblud began his set with a typically feverish pace, rarely slacking off all night. Opening with innuendo-driven anthem of lust Strawberry Lipstick, She radiated the anarchic aura of a pansexual Batman villain as she leered like a maniac, lewdly squeezed her crotch, unleashed a flurry of four-letter bombshells, kissed her male guitarist, and ran headfirst into the audience. And that was just the first song. He may swear, sneer and go hoarse, but the singer came off much more like Robbie Williams than Liam Gallagher during this performance, a brazen rascal unashamedly exaggerating his caricatured self-image as an unassuming northerner surprised to find himself playing a such a prestigious character. London headquarters.
Steeped in vintage punk and grunge, glam rock and hip-hop influences, Harrison’s music was lively and melodic, if somewhat lacking in subtlety or originality. That said, his explosively dynamic performance style proved highly effective as he lunged, dashed and flipped through each sweat-soaked number, cheered on by the roaring crowd. Crucially, he clearly shares a strong bond of empathy with his teenage fans, tapping into their universal anxieties by repeatedly addressing his own self-esteem and mental health issues on issues like angst-ridden Parents, surly Loner, and the swashbuckling Nirvana-Fleabag. lite rocker.
Yungblud’s relentlessly needy tone screeched at times, like an overstimulated puppy insisting on fucking your leg all night. But his stadium-sized ambition and his eagerness to please eventually proved hard to resist. Surely this must be the first Royal Albert Hall concert to climax with the headlining star leading a massive moshpit of spinning bodies as he leads the crowd in a massive chant of “shout for Ukraine! Fuck Putin!” An insanely good show for a great cause.