It’s a warm, sunny afternoon, and Yves Tumor takes to the stage with the musicians dressed like they’d been in different wings of a fashion museum while Yves is in tall black boots, knee warmers, shapewear and a leather jockstrap. There’s enough spikes to make the local health and safety officer boring and half a squirrel on his head. Clearly the next hour isn’t going to be boring.
Much like Yves, the music draws on a wide variety of influences, so forgot your boring, formulaic rock music, there’s an endless twisting, snakey sound here which never bores and never disappoints. You’re always wondering what’s going to come next, and it’s always rich and struttingly cool. There’s something in the way Yves will get to a pause in his role, and while the band play they’ll just stand calmly on the stage peering out at us like this is the most normal thing in the world, like a they’re staring out to sea.
As the show moves on, no note is played without being pushed and pulled into new shapes. To be honest it’s making a lot of the rock acts we’ve head over the years sound just black and white (or beige) while this is a peacock full of colour. Understated, simple, this is not.
Oddly, about halfway through the sunglasses began to rankle a bit. Obviously Yves probably needs them because of the sun, and they are certainly part of the cool aesthetic, but I’ve seen performers at this festival who seemed to really care about the crowd, and this is all a bit divorced… luckily, it’s at this moment Yves starts trying to get the crowd geed up and reacting. It takes a while, and if I’m honest I’m sure Yves is used to crowds more into his set. I get the sense he’d like something raucous. We are not. I said yesterday some acts could have done without the tent. Yves needs the tent…. although giving them a flight of stairs to writhe around on was a good idea.
As the set continues more emotion creeps in and the cool chills out… although it’s hard not to stay cool when you’re wearing a black waistband embossed SEX in studs. Yves does come out to the crowd, and it’s good to see the guitar player come down for a crowd surf too: they are all rather overshadowed despite the animal print top.
These are brilliant, atmospheric songs and Yves is a natural performer who gives it their all, but while I can say I enjoyed it, I’m not sure they did.