Mercury Prize winner’s tour hits Lancashire library

Alternative hip hop, experimental trip hop, rap, soul, rock and roll noise creators Young Fathers continue to defy genres.

And in their quest to avoid pigeon holeing, the 2014 Mercury Prize winning band continued their extensive tour which has so far visited Cape Town and Bratislava, and soon to visit take in Brooklyn, Chicgaco, Minneapolis, Austin, Nottingham, and Manchester with the most unlikely of venues on Friday; Skelmersdale Library.

The trio of childhood friends Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole and G (Graham) Hastings, and energetic touring drummer and DJ Steven Morrison literally blew the books off the shelves as the bass of ‘No Way’ ripped through the crowd in the unconventional venue. Organised as part of the Get it Live in Libraries project, which aims to get young people visiting their local library, the goal is to not only get people through the doors, but also to attract great bands into places where regular touring artists rarely visit.

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There was no need of chat or banter from the band with Deadline, The Queen is Dead and Just Another Bullet exploding through the upstairs venue, with the crowd dancing and yelling back at the stage.

Taking it in turns to rap and sing with mournful, soulful voices, harmonising as they performed, Young Fathers effortlessly combined vitriol with a vulnerable edge.

The band powered through the dynamic crowd pleasers ‘Get Up’ and their new album’s almost evangelical ‘Rain or Shine’ and drove the crowd wild with the powerful ‘Old Rock ‘n Roll’ and straight into ‘Low’, barely giving the audience, or the band chance to catch their breath.

Every item in the library, from the books, to the PCs and the restrained choices on the CD racks reverberated to the insistent bass and drums of ‘Shame’ with its infectious groove commanding the crowd to dance energetically to its radio-friendly beat.

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All too soon the band were departing, retreating once again to Skelemerdale Library’s Meeting Room 1, leaving G alone on the stage to end the mournful and yearning ‘I Heard’

Originating from Edinburgh and now on their second studio album ‘White Men are Black Men Too’, if Young Fathers can make a library rip apart at the seams, imagine what they’re like in a dedicated music venue.