Farewell YMSS

Posted by jill on March 27, 2010

Youthmovies, originally uploaded by jellybeanz.

There aren’t that many bands left from 2002 who are both still a going concern and whose music still interests me today. With the end of Youthmovies/Youthmovie Soundtrack Strategies/YMSS/Youm it’s another one crossed off a very short list. Partly it’s me, over the last eight years my interests have moved on, and whilst many of those bands from 2002 haven’t moved on very much, Youthmovies were one of the few who had felt the need to constantly reinvent their sound and challenge themselves.

Thinking back to my first impressions of the band, at the Wheatsheaf in November 2002, I wasn’t entirely convinced by them. What were four guys roughly my age doing wearing nurses outfits onstage? By the second time, in December, I had already been converted. At the time I wrote ‘It’s a bit awkward jumping from one style to another, once they settle down to one they could be very interesting.’ Memories of Youthmovies phase 1 is a blur of shows (generally at the Wheatsheaf) featuring them and other kindred spirits, Cat on Form, 65daysofstatic, Edmund Fitzgerald and so on.

With the release of ‘Hurrah…’, Youthmovies phase 2 developed into a far more interesting prospect. It is from this era that I have some of my favourite memories of the band. There was the house party in Oxford in April 2007, where I made everyone drink Chinese white wine freshly brought back from a trip to Hong Kong, and the show on Brick Lane where the band played a more experimental show linking their songs with lots of improvised noise in between.

The final show downstairs at the Zodiac was never going to be a classic performance for the band, it was too emotional for that. And when Al whacked himself in the face with his guitar second song in, we knew this show was going to be remarkable in a different way. What was great about this was the atmosphere. By performing in the round, the audience were looking at each other and also cheering on the band. Everyone sang along, savouring every last moment of this remarkable live band.

As a final thought, here are some ‘What Ifs’…

-What if they were luckier, how far would they have gone?

-What if they kept going, what would they sound like in ten years’ time

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