Yellow Days – Soulful, emotional and a heavenly hotel receptionist – Live in London, April 12 2024

With support from Laura Quinn and Lex Fransche

Words and pictures: Adrian Hextall \ MindHex Media

So let me get this straight, your bassist is her guitarist and you are actually the lead guitarist for Yellow Days as well? I suppose when members of all three acts are performing for each other on the same stage at the same show, then it’s going to cost a lot less to put a three band bill on the tour. Economies of scale…. the most rock and roll you can get in these challenging times! 

Of course the main reason we are here tonight is to see former Mancunian and current L.A urbanite , George van den Broek. Now relocated to West Coast USA, a move that’s clearly upped his writing prowess and delivered the soul fused indie pop endevours, A Day in a Yellow Beat, Inner Peace and current release (and the one the stage set and show is built around) Hotel Heaven. 

First up though, van den Broek’s own lead guitarist, Lex Fransche. 

Lex Fransche

Mellow is a good word to use here. Very much appreciative of the fact that he’s playing for us because he’s on tour as part of the Yellow Days ensemble and that’s a feeling you get throughout the entire night. A family affair, although as we delve deeper into Hotel Heaven, things take a very surreal turn. 

Lex though, coming across like a protege of David Gilmour plays some of the most beautiful licks. The sort that can make you close your eyes, sit back and just lose yourself in the moment. With great vocals to match, it was the perfect opener for the evening.  

Laura Quinn

The London based singer first collaborated with Yellow Days back in 2021 and essentially kick started her career. It’s no surprise then that her set blends in with the whole vibe of the evening so well. If Hotel Heaven was based in New Orleans and had a dimly lit jazz club in its basement then it’s likely that Laura Quinn would be the house band.

Certainly as soon as she began to sing, we were transported to that very basement, surrounded by jazz loving locals with a thick haze of cigarette smoke hanging in the air. Dreamy stuff, the sort of music that takes us back to the 1950’s and yet somehow feels modern thanks to the beautiful musicianship of the band, especially with the glorious saxophone work that accompanies each track.

There’s no other way to describe the vibe in the room other than immersive. This was a true transportation exercise, a portal jump into the past whilst keeping the door to the present propped open (probably with one of the potted plants dotted around on the stage) to prove just what the modern artist can bring to the table. 

Quite a humbling experience if I’m honest. 

Yellow Days

The family vibe continued with the headliners. Imagine if your mates had come round to your house, you set up in your living room and then played the songs to all love for the next couple of hours. That was the vibe accentuated by the musicians (some of whom we’d obviously seen previously) but that vibe had more sinister undertones with the wider stage setup depicting latest album ‘Hotel Heaven’. 

With the reception desk looking very Art Deco, a red phone that would come into play throughout and a leather clad uniformed receptionist who had also been acting ac MC for the rest of the artists the whole setup was surreal to say the least. Think the farce elements from ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ mixed with the setting of ‘Twin Peaks’ and tension of ‘The Shining’. If you can imagine the mix, then you’ll get someway to understanding why the show was as intriguing as it was fascinating. 

When you overlay the excesses of wealthy hotel guests (including by far the most outrageous carving of a joint of meat) it’s a massive surprise just how much fun Yellow Days injects into the music. That strange delusion of luxury and fame was played out through a mix of soul music and free flowing jazz. All wrapped up with a front man who is wearing the sort of linen outfit that shouted ‘prisoner working on the railroads in the late 1800’s’. When you add however, a red baseball cap and when visible, a checkerboard hair cut, those elements that prevent you from settling into a single thought, genre, style. 

The guitar lines from Lex, as ably shown in the opening 20+ minutes gave the songs the grit they need to lift the energy when needed. The rest of the band built a swirling soundscape behind him and van den Broek was then given free reign to deliver his unique style of music which the packed venue simply lapped up.

It was all about the music and the atmosphere and when mixed up with the sort of surreal comedy moments to keep any Monty Python fan happy courtesy of our slightly wonky receptionist / host you were presented with a show that will stick in the mind for some time to come. 

Bold, ambitious, daring to challenge the audience as much as entertain them, Yellow Days have something special to offer to fans of ‘music and theatre’ in equal measure.

  • 2024 04 12, Yellow Days, KOKO, Camden
  • 2024 04 12, Yellow Days, KOKO, Camden
  • 2024 04 12, Yellow Days, KOKO, Camden
  • 2024 04 12, Yellow Days, KOKO, Camden
  • 2024 04 12, Yellow Days, KOKO, Camden
  • 2024 04 12, Yellow Days, KOKO, Camden
  • 2024 04 12, Yellow Days, KOKO, Camden
  • 2024 04 12, Yellow Days, KOKO, Camden
  • 2024 04 12, Yellow Days, KOKO, Camden
  • 2024 04 12, Yellow Days, KOKO, Camden
  • 2024 04 12, Yellow Days, KOKO, Camden
  • 2024 04 12, Yellow Days, KOKO, Camden
  • 2024 04 12, Yellow Days, KOKO, Camden
  • 2024 04 12, Yellow Days, KOKO, Camden
  • 2024 04 12, Yellow Days, KOKO, Camden
  • 2024 04 12, Yellow Days, KOKO, Camden
  • 2024 04 12, Yellow Days, KOKO, Camden
  • 2024 04 12, Yellow Days, KOKO, Camden
  • 2024 04 12, Yellow Days, KOKO, Camden
  • 2024 04 12, Yellow Days, KOKO, Camden

SETLIST:

Welcome To Hotel Heaven
Mrs Moonlight
You’re So Cool
Finer Things In Life
Higher Room
Crying For Help
Planet Earth
That Easy
The Curse
Treat You Right
Getting Closer
Your Hand Holding Mine
Gap In The Clouds
People
I’ll Be Loving You
What’s It All For?
How Can I Love You?
The Way Things Change
Your Hand Holding Mine
Your Make My Heart Explode
A Little While

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