Gang of Youths has been forced to cancel tonight’s performance at the Bushstock Festival in London due to “technical issues” at the venue.
The band posted a message on its social media accounts shortly before their scheduled start time of 8:30 p.m. explaining that technical issues had made it unsafe for the show to go on:
Due to technical issues at the K West Hotel, we will no longer be performing tonight at Bushstock festival. Our team and Bushstock have worked tirelessly to try and fix the issue but unfortunately it couldn’t be resolved and it was deemed unsafe for ourselves, our fans and our team. We love you and are deeply sorry!! ❤️
The first signs of trouble came about 2.5 hours before Gang of Youths was due to play. The festival’s Twitter account posted that the Courtyard venue (outside the K West Hotel) had been closed temporarily.
A festival attendee tweeted moments later that fans had just been “thrown out because of an electrical fault.”
As you can imagine, that prompted all kinds of questions from other festivalgoers. At one point, the Bushstock account told one fan “we hope so” when asked if the venue would reopen, and added the detail about technical problems at the stage.
Since they couldn’t play, the band quickly came up with a Plan B.
Several fans have been posting photos and videos on social media showing various band members mingling with fans, taking photos, signing autographs, etc., after the announcement. The autographs were being signed on vinyl copies of Go Farther In Lightness that the band was giving away for free!
Toni Maree shared this video with us:
How cool is that??!!
Meanwhile, we’ve reached out to the band for more information about the situation that led to the decision to call off the show; if we hear back, we’ll update this article.
Other artists were also affected by the situation at the Courtyard. Ider and Mosa Wild — both due on the same stage before GOY’s set — had their performances moved to the end of the night at a different Bushstock venue.
Finally, the Bushstock Twitter account is directing fans to email presents @ communionmusic.co.uk with questions about getting a refund.
Since that show on Sunday, a million thoughts have been going around in my mind. Rather than try to write a traditional concert review, let me instead offer a recap by way of writing out some of those thoughts that keep circling around my brain. Here are five things I think after seeing my first GOY concert.
1) I really need to see a proper Gang of Youths show with Gang of Youths fans.
Everyone has asked me, “How was it??” And my answer has been the same each time: It was as great as I could’ve hoped considering it was a festival, and not a GOY show with their own crowd and all the normal luxuries that come with doing your own gigs. (Like having a soundcheck, for example. Each band member seemed to spend the first 2-3 songs motioning to their audio people for adjustments; I felt bad for them.) The crowd was way bigger than I expected, which was cool, but very few people seemed to be singing the songs — “The Heart Is A Muscle” was one exception, and maybe even “Deepest Sighs,” too. But no one knew “Keep Me In The Open,” “Do Not Let Your Spirit Wane” and others. I really wanna see a show with an audience that knows all the songs. But this isn’t a complaint. I’d happily watch their next show with any crowd, who am I kidding?
2) Dave will become one of the best frontmen in music history.
I’ve seen almost 50 U2 shows, and Bono is a fantastic frontman. I’ve seen dozens of other singers and bands live — Van Halen, R.E.M., Muse, Coldplay, Adele, David Bowie, Collective Soul and so forth. None of the singers grabbed my attention the way Dave did on Sunday. He’s SO. DAMN. GOOD. I had to force myself not to stare at him for the whole hour. He was playing to the crowd, the on-stage cameras — just doing his damn thing. It was a beautiful sight to behold. During “Spirit Wane,” he sat on a speaker on the edge of the stage and told the story of the song through words and gestures as the rain fell. It was really powerful to watch. As the band grows and he continues to develop his skills (which are already remarkable), he’ll be able to hold stadium audiences in the palm of his hand. Count on it.
3) Donnie is an amazing drummer.
Look, they’re all excellent musicians and I kinda hate to single out one or two and leave the others behind, but Donnie deserves a special mention. I don’t know anything about the technical side of drumming, so if you’re expecting anything other than “because I said so” as my explanation for this thought, sorry. I just think he’s super-talented and it’s great to see his personality coming through — at one point Sunday, he seemed to be doing a dead-on impression of Animal from The Muppets and a little later, for reasons totally unknown to me, he was kissing or licking one of his cymbals as a song ended and I was laughing my ass off at all of it.
4) Jung is the nicest guy on Earth.
I was walking across the huge, open field by the stage where GOY would be playing in about 90 minutes, and all of a sudden I saw Jung walking alone right toward me. (To clarify, he was walking toward the backstage band area, but that also just happened to be in my direction. He wasn’t walking toward me like, “Oh, there’s Matt from Deepest Sighs. Imma go say hi.” Although that would’ve been cool.) As he approached, I kinda shouted, “No way!! Hi Jung!” We shook hands and I introduced myself, and he recognized the website and said it was really cool what we’re doing. We talked for about 5-10 minutes (about the Mumford tour and other stuff) and he’s just the nicest guy on earth.
(Related: After GOY’s show, I also met manager Kurt Bailey and his wife, Ash, and had conversations with each. Can confirm that they’re both also equally nice people! But they both agreed with me that Jung is the nicest guy on Earth, so he gets to keep that title on a 3-0 vote.)
5) It’s good to put the phone away when it matters.
I had a plan going into the show: I knew I needed to shoot some video and photos so that we could share the experience with our fellow fans here on DS, but I also wanted to make sure to be at full attention and in the moment when the band was playing my songs. “Deepest Sighs” and “Spirit Wane” were off-limits; no video, no photos, no phone at all during those two songs since they’re the most special ones to me. And they were beautiful. The hardest rain of the day started at the same time “Deepest Sighs” did, and I just let it wash over me. I got lost in my favorite song and sang at the top of my lungs. That song, you guys. And “Spirit Wane,” too. Those two songs. Just everything.
So there ya go. The show was fantastic. The band was fantastic. The rain was fantastic. And it was a festival. I can’t wait until I get to see a Gang of Youths show surrounded by Gang of Youths fans, all of us singing every word together and turning into emotional mush three minutes into the first song.
There may be not be a new Gang of Youths album this year, but fans will get to hear Dave Le’aupepe singing some new music in a couple months.
As Triple J reports, Dave is one of the guests who’ll appear on Australian singer Thelma Plum’s upcoming debut album, Better In Blak. He’s listed as a guest on the album’s third track, “Love And War.” (Some guy named Paul McCartney also contributed to the album, writing some guitar parts on the last track.)
Better In Blak is due for release on July 12. Mark your calendars accordingly.