Marquee Memories: Yard Act

Yard Act has a one-of-a-kind brit-pop eccentricity, with conversationally delivered narrative lyricism chock-full of elaborate storytelling and…trench coats? Departing from the post-punk style of their debut record, The Overload, the Leeds-based band dives headfirst into unexplored waters with their newest album, Where’s My Utopia?. Confidently embracing a whimsical flair all their own, the band raises their ‘90s sensibilities to new heights, with spoken-word interludes, surrealist soundscapes and discussions of “The Trench Coat Museum.” Yard Act will take their second album across this globe with this year’s Dream Job Tour, making stops throughout the U.K., Europe and North America. James Smith, Ryan Needham, Sam Shjipstone and Jay Russell joined our team at the Setlist.fm studio to discuss some of their favorite concert memories. Recounting an emotional Oasis rite of passage, festivals at 15 and nut-allergy shaming, catch our interview with the band below.

Oasis

Ryan: Oasis at Maine Road in 1996. It was a bus trip from the local record shop in Derby. I went with three friends last year of school. It felt like a bit of a rite of passage, but then we kind of got dropped off as four, very young 16-year-olds in the middle of Moss Side in Manchester, which-
James: It was pretty rough.
Ryan: Safe place. Yeah. Tons of, sort of, drunk Irishmen. Which was great. The full lineup on the day was Ocean Colour Scene, the Manic Street Preachers, and then Oasis. It was at the height of their fame in the 90s. Me and my school friends, arm in arm, it was pretty emotional.

The Prodigy

Jay: So I saw The Prodigy at a festival called Download, which is sort of like a rock, metal festival in the UK. I was actually 15, just about to turn 16 in a couple of weeks. So it was my first festival left to my own devices.
Ryan: What album was it?
Jay: That was... I think it was "Invaders Must Die." Had just come out. and I was actually with our now tour manager, Jacob, as well. We sort of wormed our way in right down the front. It did get a little bit scary at some points. It was pretty intense, the crowd. Have any of you guys seen 'em?
James: I saw 'em that year at Leeds Festival. They were good. Everyone was climbing on the ice cream van. They had to... The ice cream man was trapped, panicking, and everyone was just raving on his ice cream van.

Super Luxury

James: Super Luxury were a Leeds band. Kind of sound like a cross between Shellac and AC/DC. I saw them at Brudenell Social Club in 2017, and this particular show, it began with a coffin on the stage, and the band came out and played, and did this whole joke based around their singer Adam Nodwell's performance art. Four songs in, he still hadn't emerged from his coffin, charged into the room and then he declared that a hotdog eating contest was about to begin. Can't remember who won it, but we have a song called "Payday." So I thought it would be really good to throw them out into the audience. When I brought them on stage in Chicago, a man from the audience shouted-
Ryan: "Do not..."
James: "Do not open that packet. I have a severe nut allergy." I was quite surprised at some of the crowd booing the man for his nut allergy.
Ryan: Yeah. Shamed.
James: Yeah. He was shamed. And shame on you to those Yard Act fans that put that poor man through that.

John Maus

Sam: John Maus. It was 2007. There's something in the UK called The Toilet Circuit, and we're talking no bar staff or security in there, and you can really make that space your own. In Sheffield, I think it was called the Shakespeare. Do you remember a place called that?
Ryan: Yeah, sounds familiar.
Sam: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And there was this sort of weird moment where he got down on one knee, as I remember, and just started screaming. It was kind of out character, even for his set. And little had we known, a young couple in love had gone above into the "Do Not Go Here" area. A big chunk of plaster came off the roof and landed in between him and the crowd. Big white cloud of plaster everywhere. It is moments like that where you think, “This is quite... this is quite good." Do you know what I mean?
James: The spontaneity of it.
Sam: This is quite poetic.

New Order

James: So this was at Primavera in Barcelona in 2023. We had played that day. New Order weren't going on until about one, half one in the morning.
Ryan: Yeah, it was late. Pretty hectic touring schedule.
James: But it was so worth it. And when they do a greatest hits set, it didn't stop. After "Age of Consent," didn’t he just go, "Yes, it is a great track."... The in-between-song banter was perfect.
Ryan: What was your favorite song of the performance?
James: "Bizarre Love Triangle." Ryan: Really? I liked "Isolation."
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Check out Yard Act on their upcoming Dream Job Tour (all dates listed here) and listen to Where's My Utopia? on Spotify below.


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Last updated: 23 Jul 2024, 01:54 Etc/UTC