Clive Drew 05/02/2008
Whatever did happen to the likely lads? Well, two of them formed an identikit outfit to their previous band, only lacking in any of the capriciousness or spark that helped propel the Libertines from a scruffy cult Buzzcocks-alike troupe into the indie darlings that they became, whilst the one with the insatiable love of Byron and narcotics in equal doses spent more time on his before side project complete with ever rotating line-ups, dub flirtations and garden shed recordings. Bass player John Hassall, the cheek-boned linchpin who held together many of the Libs' live shows seemingly disappeared from public view. However, what he chose to embark upon has become arguably the most genuinely beguiling project to arise from the ashes of the Libertines.
Part Byrds-jangle, part Coral kookiness, Yeti have a healthy disaffection for the 'angular-centric' acts that dominate the current indie horizon. Tonight guitarist Andrew is replaced by Jonno from long term touring buddies the Foxes, exhaustion cited as the reason for the absence; the bloke's bloody good so fits in effortlessly. Despite the obvious influences Yeti treat us to a musical melting pot of a performance, sketchily sashaying between their folk roots, psychedelia, ska and blues. Highlights include the poignant "Merry-Go-Round" and the best single of 2005 "Never Lose Your Sense Of Wonder". Now trimmed down to a four-piece after the departure of former bassist Brendan Kersey, Hassall has reverted to bass from lead guitar with guitarist Mark Underwood taking more of the centre stage. The audience meets every song with a warm, reverent silence, each song listened to intently; indeed the atmosphere couldn't be more different that of the sort of bands they regard with such wariness. "Working In The Industry" hints at the band's fiercely independent spirit and reluctance to betray their principles in order to sell records.
As the '60s-tinged psychedelic pop comes to an end, the sounds of the Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys begin to blare out of the venue's speakers as it prepares for it's trendily ironic '90s clubnight and Yeti make a nosedive for the exit. Despite the incessant processed tripe in the background what's clear is that the audience have been treated to an exquisite musical trip, four guys obsessed with great music past and present, unaffected by the lure of mainstream popularity and the superficiality that comes with it. Two years in the making, Yeti's debut album "The Legend of Yeti Gonzales" is out in April, and it promises to be a belter.
Pictures of Yeti taken on the night by Edmund Townend.