London bid a fond farewell to one of the finest rock and metal bands the UK has produced in the last decade as Yashin played their final show in the capital last night.
The Glasgow rockers recently announced their decision to split – which we’ll have more on later this week from an interview with Yashin at the show – and signed off in fine style at The Garage, alongside superb support from With One Last Breath and The Vigil.
Bristol quartet The Vigil got events underway with their enjoyable brand of grungey rock, entering the stage to a huge feedback sound then flying into a big guitar intro and a seemingly trademark wah-wah guitar solo.
Second track All You’ve Done is the lead single and opening track from The Vigil’s new album Save Our Souls, which came out yesterday. The song was big and loud, with lead singer Olly Smith’s voice impressively raw and raspy.
The Vigil are a really fun band with loads of energy, summed up by the guitarist Robbie Schuck’s screaming wah-wah infused solos and funky sound effects – as typified by the awesome guitar-led Never Wanted It.
Their sound has essences of Nirvana and Wolfmother, which was particularly prevalent for me on the awesome singalong track Find A Way, which opened up with big sweeping guitar chords and a huge solo.
The set was brought to an end with the excellent Do You Feel Alive, which opened up with a huge guitar solo then a big heavy rock call and answer between vocals and guitars.
The Vigil are a great new band, and I’d urge you to get hold of Save Our Souls. They are pretty heavy in their own right, but could not prepare the audience for what was about to hit them.
Next up on stage was the incredibly heavy York-based With One Last Breath, whose two lead singers largely split clean and screamed vocals – with the latter from Spencer Costello sounding absolutely huge, along with epic facial expressions (see left).
The band’s stage presence was superb, with the bassist wearing an impressive red tartan suit and Costello declaring “I want to see this room crucified” as they launched into the huge, lightning fast Broken. I’m Taking Over began with a gut-wrenching scream and blitz of huge guitar sound, before Forgive, Never Forget really got the crowd going.
Costello then got tired of being restricted to the stage and joined the audience to create a massive circle-pit around him for the equally heavy After The Suffering. The band well and truly warmed the crowd up for the main event with their awesome stage presence and levels of audience involvement, but the next act really got the audience excited.
Now it was the turn of Yashin, who obviously opened up with the excellent The Beginning of the End, then We Are The Renegades had the walls and floor bouncing, followed by Make It Out Alive, at the start of which they asked the audience to spin around in circles as the song built.
Friends In High Places had the entire audience singing along, before the excellent Let It Go and Remember Me took the intensity of the set to new levels with circle pits aplenty.
Last Man Standing saw an already awesome set take new levels of madness with a huge circle pit as vocalist Kevin Miles let rip an almighty scream and unloaded into a brutal opening verse. This prompted fellow vocalist Harry Radford to announce he’d “had enough of this stage” and ran into the cloud.
Yashin then brought out original singer Michael Rice (see left), who played three songs with his former bandmates – which was a really nice touch. This included playing Heroes, of which Radford told the crowd of Rice “this is still one of my favourite song of all time.”
The set was drawing to an end and Radford told the audience: “We’ve played all over the world and played with our heroes, but this is the best show ever because the emotions are crazy.” He wasn’t wrong, and the set just got better and better.
One of the best tracks of the night was Get Loose!, which sent the crowd absolutely bonkers as I’m pretty sure every single person in the venue sang along and the majority jumped up and down with the band. I still have this song firmly stuck in my head nearly 24 hours later. The band then asked people to put the person next to them on their shoulders, which a large amount did, as they launched into the final track of the regular set D.E.A.D.
While the band went off for a very brief, well-earned break the crowd began chatting “One more song” which swiftly turned into “Please don’t go.” They soon returned with a song that they “haven’t played in years yet you ask us over and over again so we put it into the set,” which turned out to be the moving Everytime.
At this point the emotions were building and Radford was struggling to talk as they began their last ever live song in London, which saw them go out in fittingly great style with Stand Up. Writing this now and thinking back to the audience involvement in this song, the band’s reaction and clear emotion as it drew to an end is making the hairs on my arms stand up, and I don’t think I’ll forget how good that moment was for a long time.
This gig was well up there with one of the best I’ve ever been to. Yashin were incredible and it’s tough to think that we’ll never see them in London again, while the support acts added to what was a superb night of live music. Just look at the group photo of Yashin with the audience at the end of the gig (far left) for a taster of how awesome this gig was.
Yashin’s final ever UK gig is at The Garage in Glasgow on December 2nd, so get yourself along to it if you possibly can because that will be one hell of a night.