Review: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Queens Social Club

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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Queens Social Club

NEW York indie rockers Clap Your Hands Say Yeah look distinctly confused.

The five-piece group are playing just three UK venues before heading to big dates in Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam. So what are they doing performing to a couple of hundred people at Queens Social in Sheffield?

“I don’t know if we have every played a social club before,” frontman Alec Ounsworth says. “Is this what it’s always like? Should we play some bingo?”

After a great warm-up set from local band Hey Sholay, the crowd is in no mood for games. They greet Clap Your Hand Say Yeah’s opening track Sunshine and Clouds with a roar of appreciation.

The band takes a little while to catch up with the audience, but after a few tunes from their first two albums – the self-titled Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Some Loud Thunder - they are on fire.

Ounsworth’s Dylanesque drawl battles to cut through the struggling PA system, but it hardly matters - during the anthemic Is This Love? and Satan Says Dance the audience sings every word.

The beautifully melodic Misspent Youth - from new album Hysterical, out next week - also receives a warm reception.

For an hour we forget it is a drizzly autumn night outside and we are in a northern social club with still-life pictures of flowers on the wall and a curtain of shiny plastic ribbons forming a backdrop to the stage.

By the time the group finishes with new tune Adam’s Plane and old favourite Heavy Metal, we’re all ready to hop into the massive tour bus - looking incongruous parked outside on Queens Road - and head to Berlin.

Ben Spencer