At first glance, Years and Years don’t seem like the kind of band that will capture the hearts and minds of teenage girls. Their synth pop style is rooted in 90s R&B and they cite their influences as artists like Aaliyah and Blu Cantrell – a far cry from the cheesy pop sounds of the likes of One Direction.
Yet no one mentioned this to the thousands of screaming teenage girls at Years and Years’ gig in the Olympia who began chants of “Olly, Olly, Olly”, calling for the band’s lead singer at various intervals before the band came on stage. And it is Olly (Alexander, the vocalist) who they came to see.
Despite Y&Y being a three-piece group, Olly is the star. Bouncing and flailing around the stage as he croons through the band’s freshman album, Communion, he is seemingly boneless and much skinnier than the teen heart throbs of my youth. But he is also charming and talented so I can, to a point, see the appeal he holds for his fans.
Years and Years’ songs all mostly sound the same, but when their sound is as infectious and boppy as it is, it’s difficult to mind. The only low point of the evening were the ballads, without the synth beats, the band’s lyrics aren’t strong enough to stand on their own.
The highlights of the evening were Desire, and of course King, their debut single that everyone has had stuck in their head since the beginning of this year.
Years and Years were supported by Nimmo, a London band, who were a wonderful surprise. With a slightly heavier dance style than Y&Y they were the perfect warm up act.
Photo Credit: Siofra Dempsey