Yeo at World Bar

Kate Young
29th Feb 2016

In the last few years Australia has given birth to some of the worlds greatest electronic/dance acts, with artists like Flume, RÜFÜS, Flight Facilities and The Aston Shuffle (just to name a name a few) paving the way. We now have another name to add to this list and that name is Yeo. With his 90’s dance and 70’s funk inspired tunes, the worlds about to put on its dance shoes and discover the musical genius that is Yeo.

On Friday night World Bar’s dance night Banquet helped kick off Yeo’s national tour. This tour was set to coincide with the release of his new album Ganbaru. With anticipation levels high, DJ Keefy did a brilliant job of mixing up some amazing tunes to get the crowd pumped before the main attraction hit the stage. From the moment Yeo appeared and picked up his Keytar, this geek girl was already fan-girling.

From the get go he had the audience in the palm of his hand as they danced, sang and sweated away to each and every song. He opened with the tune “Fangin’”, which is a reworked cover of Kim Wilde’s cover of “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”. You can almost picture Yeo standing in a phone box in the pouring rain, singing down the line. It’s been beautifully broken down to a simple accompaniment of keyboards and kick drum, with haunting underlying electronic loop reminiscing of a dial tone that you just know isn’t going to be answered by anyone.

“Got Game” is a heavy synth driven number that is delivered with great intensity and passion. You can feel the struggles that Yeo is going through. Feeling like you’re giving your all and getting nowhere. My favorite line: “I lost my game today when I told my drummer to go fuck himself, I called him back straight away cause without him I ain’t got no one else.” Thank god he did because the partnership between Yeo and drummer Andrew is like no other. They are truly in sync and both bring so much to the table.

Halfway through, the tempo changed and Yeo unleashed his dancier tracks upon us. “Icarus,” the first track of the new album, is heavily laden with 70’s funk basslines, R&B inspired lyrics and computer game sound effects. It’s the music Stevie Wonder could be making in the digital age. “Know That Feel” was my favorite track of the night. It had a heavy disco vibe, keyboards with a talk box effect (think Daft Punk) and a great a walking baseline line that had everyone in the place dancing.

Closing the set was “Quiet Achiever,” a tune that has seen quite a bit of rotation on triple J. Synth keyboards are accompanied by a steel drum, giving this groove a calypso element. The breakdown in the song is signaled before a large soccer horn blaring, we are clapped out as Yeo raps us out to the end.

If Friday’s performance is any indication of just how brilliant Yeo’s new album is, then expect huge success for Yeo. I was completely blown away. My already high expectations were exceeded. There is so much talent, passion and poetry wrapped up in this artist, and with quite a lengthy catalogue already behind him the future for Yeo can only get brighter.