Every music lover knows it: we, audiophiles, tend to listen to the same three artists on repeat and the same happens with concerts. Well, my good sirs, it’s time for a change! We, Sound Eaters, decided to widen our musical horizons and embrace something new: Yard Act.

Last weekend, we went to see Yard Act at the Rock School Barbey, in our hometown. The British sensation stole our hearts with their charisma, dynamic tunes, and carefree dances. We spill the tea in this new gig review.

Who are Yard Act?

Not all British bands are from London: the lads from Yard Act come from the city of Leeds! Fronted by the sharp-tongued James Smith, with Ryan Needham on guitar, Jay Russell on drums, and Sam Shjipstone on the bass, this quartet loves to mix social messages with upbeat tunes. Simply put, they’re masters of capturing the absurdity of modern life, wrapping it up in earwormy tunes.

Yard Act gained the public’s attention with their debut album, “The Overload,” released in January 2022. The album was well-received by critics and audiences alike, which is no small victory for a first opus. The band’s punk energy, danceable rhythms, and clever, often spoken-word style lyrics really stand out. Yard Act is the soundtrack to embracing today’s chaos with a smirk.

How was the opening act?

When we arrived at the Rock School Barbey, a legendary indie venue in Bordeaux, we discovered through Yard Act’s IG stories that the band had had some bus trouble on the way. The concert was postponed by a few hours and was now set to start at 11 PM.

After a bit of waiting, filled with a nice quick meal, we entered the venue. There, we were greeted by Murkage Dave, a truly pleasant surprise. This British artist, with impeccable groove, was accompanied by his cassette player and was throwing beats left and right, filling the room with his smooth voice. The sharp and biting lyrics spoke of social media, the difficulties of living in London, and the general melancholy of the times. We absolutely loved it!

Murkage Dave opening for Yard Act in Bordeaux 2024

Dave was followed by Folly Group, a band with a harder sound that, despite its two energetic drummers, didn’t completely win us over.

How was the gig?

Then James Smith and his crew hit the stage with a bang. This band really knows how to bring it! For the occasion, they were joined by two backup singers, two women whose contagious energy and joy made the whole room want to dance within seconds.

It was pure joy to hear Yard Act’s songs live, and the energy that’s already palpable on their records was multiplied live. The guitarist delivered insane solos, the bassist was effortlessly cool yet masterfully melodic (a bit like Bob Hardy, Franz Ferdinand‘s bass player), and the drummer held it all together with confident precision. James Smith, a passionate man, won us over immediately. What a presence, my friends, and such charisma! Reminded us of Jarvis Cocker from Pulp.

More than just a band, Yard Act made us think of an old-school Brass Band: it felt like we were witnessing a true celebration. Even better, a communion! Everyone was dancing and singing. It almost felt like a gospel service! Unbelievable!

James Smith on stage with Yard Act

The band didn’t miss a chance to engage the audience repeatedly, organizing a dance circle and bringing a spectator on stage to spin a wheel of fortune to choose the next song. It was an unforgettable night of pure madness. We left with beer-soaked coats, sweat-drenched foreheads, and smiles on our faces for days.

Ryan Needham on stage woth Yard Act

What a night, guys! This band really, truly deserves some cake.


An Illusion

Dead Horse

When The Laughter Stops

Grifter’s Grief

Land Of The Blind

Fizzy Fish

We Make Hits

Dark Days (wheel spin)


Down By The Stream

Dream Job


The Overload


Yard Act, Bordeaux, April 6 2024

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *