November 20, 2014

Years & Years @ Le Nüba

On the eve of November 19th, Years & Years played a free gig in Paris, France.


The show took place in the indoors section of le Nüba, a rooftop club in the Parisian Cité de la Mode et du Design (aka Les Docks). The place was packed with a really enthusiastic crowd and it made me realize that in the span of exactly a year since the Kitsuné gig, the Years & Years boys have managed to grow an impressive fan base. As the singer, Olly Alexander, told us at the beginning of the set, "I didn't think anyone would show up!" And yet, everyone was singing the lyrics, dancing, screaming, clapping, and smiling.

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At some point, a few technical problems occurred (possibly had to do with the drums?). Staying very focused and pro, they just decided to keep on playing while it was being fixed, giving the songs a different feel. Emre was playing on synths and what seemed to be a colorful Ableton Live pad, Olly sang, and Mikey played bass as well as keys. They also had a drummer, which they didn't last time, and Dylan's drumming spread so much energy in that little venue!

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This lineup and their sound itself all felt like they had matured a lot, while keeping that fresh vibe that drew me - and pretty much all their fans - to them in the first place. The songs on the night's set list were mostly recent and we were also treated to a cover of Blu Cantrell/Sean Paul's track "Breathe", à la Years & Years. I heard the song "Eyes Shut" for the first time and fell in love with these specific lyrics, "Nothing's gonna hurt me with my eyes shut/I can see through them". I have been playing it on repeat since the concert!



As the gig ended, I understood that getting a hold of them would be pretty much impossible with all the people waiting for an autograph, a selfie, or even just a smile from them. I was blown away by their fans involvement, and I reckon some of them had even traveled from the UK to attend this concert. Maybe it has to do with their appearance on Jools Holland, with their singer being in a new movie, or with the fact that they have undeniably been working hard - thus getting more and more exposure?

Anyway, I still managed to have a little chat with Olly, who took the time to scribble down a playlist and a doodle for us.

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Tonight (November 20th) they are opening for Sam Smith's sold-out concert at Le Bataclan, since they have been a part of his current European tour. They are also about to tour the UK themselves in February and March 2015 (with a London date already sold-out, they had to plan a second night!). Can't wait to see where these dudes will be, let's say, a year from now.

Photos: Lou Cocody-Valentino

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