Gang of Youths to play London in support of BRITs Week War Child shows

Before they head down to New Zealand and Australia next month, Gang of Youths will play an intimate charity show in London. It’ll happen on February 17th and is part of the BRITs Week War Child series that runs through much of February.

The Gang of Youths gig has an interesting twist, too: It’s happening at a relatively new club/music venue called Omeara, which is owned by none other than Ben Lovett, the keyboardist from Mumford & Sons.

There are two ways to get tickets:

  • Visit https://www.britsweekprizedraw.co.uk/ and make a £5 donation to be part of the ticket draw. You can make as many donations as you want to increase your chances of scoring a ticket. The window for this is open now and runs through end of day on February 3.
  • A limited number of tickets will be available through direct sale starting this Friday, January 17. Go to https://britsweekwarchild.co.uk/ for more information on that.

According to Radio X, last year’s War Child charity shows raised about £500K for children impacted by war.

I suppose we should also mention that the promotional graphic for this show (above) is the first new band photo we’ve seen since Joji left the band in October … which makes you wonder whether the newest band member will be part of this show and the others happening in February. Things that make you go “Hmmmmmm….”

(Thanks to ‪@evelynv1096‬ on Twitter for the heads up!)

Gang of Youths to play fire/climate benefit concert in Melbourne

Gang of Youths has joined forces with a handful of Australian artists to create and perform at Down To Earth – A Fire and Climate Relief Concert. It’ll happen on February 26 at Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne, and tickets go on sale this Thursday (Jan. 9) at Ticket.com.au.

It’s one of several similar concerts that have happened — or will happen soon — in response to the worst fire season Australia has seen in decades. The latest info I can find online at the moment is that the fires have burned an estimated 18 million acres of land and killed 24 people.

The artists involved in this concert, as well as their management and support teams, are all donating their time and talents — 100% of the proceeds will be distributed to five groups involved in various fire- and climate-related work: Red Cross, WIRES, Emergency Leaders for Climate Action, Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, and Firesticks Alliance Indigenous Corporation.

Other artists on the bill include Angus & Julia Stone, Briggs, Jack River, Ruby Fields, Tash Sultana, and Thelma Plum. There’s also mention of special guests appearing throughout the day.

Late last week, Gang of Youths announced that it would donate all profits from official merchandise sales on its website to help raise money to support the fight against the bushfires.

Dave: Gang of Youths’ new album, tour coming this year

How’s this for some good news to start the year? Gang of Youths will be back in the spotlight this year with a new album, tour date, and this next cycle of activity will see the band staying busy into 2022.

That’s the word from Dave’s appearance on the Carry the Fire Podcast — hosted by Dustin Kensrue, lead singer of the band Thrice, and also a former worship leader. He and Dave spoke in mid-December (when the band was, as Dave says, on the second-to-last day of demo work for the new album), but the podcast was just published today.

At about the 75-minute mark, when the conversation was wrapping up, Kensrue asked Dave to talk about Gang of Youths’ upcoming plans. And that’s when he re-confirmed a new album, tour dates, and an activity cycle that will continue into 2022.

We will release something next year, swear to God … cross my heart. We are going to go to New Zealand in February; I’m going to visit some of my dad’s family. I don’t know what we’re playing or doing there.

We’ll be touring, not like tons next year, ’cause we’ll still be working on this fucking monstrosity [referencing the new album]. But yeah … 2020/2021 we’ll be doing stuff, into early 2022. And then I intend on retiring and becoming a pig farmer. We’ll see how it goes. [laughs]

Dave had previously told a concert audience in Los Angeles that there’ll be an album and tour in 2020, but that bit about a 2-year cycle is certainly interesting — it speaks to the level of promotion that the band and new label Warner Music are planning to grow the band’s footprint.

Earlier in the conversation, Dave also talked about the new album in terms of his own songwriting — and specifically, how he’s writing primarily about his late father. Again, it’s a topic he’s addressed before, but in this conversation he says his songwriting is “like an anthropological journey” because of what he’s learned since his dad’s death in 2018.

Now what I’m writing about is the death of my father — or attempting to fecking write about — is the death of my father, how much I fucking loved my dad, and then all the crazy, bonkers shit I found out about him since he died.

It’s kind of like an anthropological journey. My father was the most mysterious fucking man I ever met in my life, and sincerely from the bottom of my black heart, he was the greatest, most wonderful human I ever met. And so living without him now is a shit. I always tell Cort, this is as much about “What do I do now?” as it is about how fucking incredible and strange was this dude.

In reference to the previous conversation, it’s like … when my dad died, I felt like God died. And I had to just invent him again. ‘Cause my dad died, that was like, “Oh, okay, there’s no God!” Cause he’s dead now. Cause my dad was basically like, as close to that as I could ever possibly get, and I had to just reconfigure him from fucking scraps. I think I did an okay job.

It’s a fascinating conversation that runs more than an hour and tackles a lot of the deep topics that longtime GOY fans probably expect to hear in this kind of setting — philosophy, God, growing up in Australia, etc. There’s a lot of discussion about Go Farther In Lightness, which Dave says he hates now.

There’s a potentially interesting bit at the end of the conversation when Kensrue asks Dave for advice as his band, Thrice, is prepping to go into the studio. One of Dave’s suggestions is to “listen to monumental pieces of art that aren’t in your genre,” which Dave follows by saying he’s been listening to Terry Riley’s In C — a classical/minimalist collection of musical bits without a defined structure. It makes you wonder if that will have any impact on the band’s new songs. (You can listen to a performance on YouTube.)

Anyway, you can find Carry the Fire on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other podcast platforms, or just listen online at CarrytheFirepod.com. It’s well worth the 80 minutes.

As always, keep an eye on our Gang of Youths new album page for all the latest news about the band’s upcoming album.

(Photo by Dave Jennings, used with permission.)