Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: O2 Academy, Liverpool

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One of the hype bands of the last few years, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, have dropped off the radar to such an extent that Getintothis’ Dickie Felton flies solo to Liverpool’s Academy. More fool those who missed it.


None of my mates wanted to come to this gig.
But they are one of the greatest indie bands ever,‘ I pleaded – to no avail.
For me seeing American alt-rockers Clap Your Hands, Say Yeah was one of the things I just had to do. In 2006 a US friend sent me the group’s first album and I was hooked.
So a solo trip was in order and a freezing Friday greeted CYHSY to Liverpool’s O2 Academy.
The sub-zero temperature was noted by the group as they took to the stage. Baseball cap-wearing frontman Alec Ounsworth told the crowd: ‘Liverpool is cold. So you’ll all have to move around a lot.
It wasn’t but long before the atmosphere and response to a fabulous set was red hot. Older tracks which wowed the crowd included Details of the War, The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth, Some Loud Thunder.
Songs from their latest album, Hysterical, went down well too.
One of their most recent singles Maniac is three minutes of indie pop perfection and the Liverpool crowd loved it.
It’s hard to describe CYHSY – a little like Talking Heads and at times reminiscent of early REM with Ounsworth’s impossible to make out singing recalling Stipe at his best. It’s frantic but lots of fun.
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Formed in 2004 and with three sensational albums behind them CYHSY have famous fans including David Bowie and David Byrne.
Everyone from the New York Times to Rolling Stones has championed them. But you get them impression they are not in the slightest bit bothered about chart positions or exposure. They seem content to just play songs that people love.
They’re down to earth nature makes you want to have a pint with them – and some of the audience do. Towards the close of the one hour set Ounsworth states: ‘We are hanging around for the aftershow so we’ll see you all there.
It’s a tragedy of epic proportions that CYHSY are not playing to bigger audiences in Britain as this group are truly special. But I’ll make a bold prediction – in a few years we’ll see them playing to thousands.
And when that happens I’ll say to my stay-away mates: ‘Remember the time Clap Your Hands Say Yeah played the small room at the Academy? Of course you don’t. You weren’t there.
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Pictures by Darren Aston.

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