The Young Knives

SXSW showcase reviews

Live Shots
Photo By Mary Sledd

The Young Knives

Parish, Wednesday, March 15

Ever felt like you were Mark E. Smith? Didn't think so. Still, the Fall frontman and sporadic football announcer for Score was here in spirit via UK's the Young Knives. It can't have been easy growing up in in a musical landscape that suddenly seems dominated by the overriding shade of Smith and New York City's '79-'82-era, with its dark overtones grimly determined to reassemble rock & roll from the shattered shards of Britpop and post-punk. That said, these Oxfordians, led by streety, adenoidal vox populi Henry Dartnell, summed up the situation in opener "Weekends and Bleak Days." Clad in sweater and pinstriped ties, Dartnell's visceral, shouty chorus of "Hot summer, hot, hot summer" echoed not only the Parish's sweaty vibe, but may as well be Austin's post-spring anthem. While their stage presence was something less than electrifying, the Young Knives more than made up for with that Smithian brillance, leveled by a melodic, strangely dark guitar squall, thick, meaty drumwork, and the slender bassline of single "Kramer vs. Kramer." With the lyrical smarts of Smith and company hanging over the show like funerary crepe, and the occasional chiming guitar strike echoing Interpol's more lucid moments, the crowd, already primed by special guest the Chalets, lapped it up, this new wave of Britain's finest, darkest brew.

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at austinchronicle.com/sxsw. Sign up for our South By-specific newsletter at austinchronicle.com/newsletters for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Wednesday Interview
Wednesday Interview
Delta Spirit

Jim Caligiuri, March 20, 2015

Wednesday Picks & Sleepers
Wednesday Picks & Sleepers
First night SXSW Music recommendations and hints

March 20, 2015

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
William Harries Graham
Jakes (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, April 12, 2019

Texas Platters
Rebecca Loebe
Give Up Your Ghosts (Record Review)

Christina Garcia, April 12, 2019

More by Marc Savlov
Family
Outsider comedy has a lot less Insane Clown Posse than you might expect

April 26, 2019

Black Mother
A hypnotic and all-encompassing glimpse into Jamaican life

April 12, 2019

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle