The Young Knives

We didn't have a sport, so this gave us something to do

Feature by Stuart Purcell | 17 Mar 2006
  • The Young Knives

I know. You probably have this band pegged; I did. They're probably from London. They're probably this, they're probably that.

Well, they may be this or that (depending on what this or that may be), but they're certainly not from London. Instead, The Young Knives hail from the lesser known Mecca of punk rock delinquency, Oxford. Prior to this, TYK had grown up in the sticks of the Midlands, starting a band "for something to do at the weekends," as Young Knife Henry Dartnell informs me: "We didn't have a sport, so this gave us something to do." By "us", he refers to childhood friend Oliver and his brother, The House of Lords - because "he is the band's grumpy second chamber, constantly vetoing our great ideas" - who make up the rest of TYK.

Regardless of such bicameral disputes, things have been going rather well for TYK, what with support slots alongside Hot Hot Heat and man-in-pants himself, Har Mar Superstar. Industry accolades have also been forthcoming, with artists such as The Futureheads and Supergrass leading the pack. They are also in the process of applying the finishing flourishes to their album, with Andy Gill of Gang of Four at the helm. "It has been amazing working with him," states Henry, "his style is really rather tactful, kind of like your old uncle".

For the time being, they've just released their single Here Comes the Rumour Mill on Transgressive, while embarking on a rather hefty, UK-sized tour to invade a locale near you. Inspired by "good songwriting" and "seeing things in other people, writing character-based tracks", informed by artists such as Elvis Costello, Pixies, The Formal, Steely Dan and The Fall; TYK write whip-smart tales of the contemporary condition that are at home on dance floors and in headphones alike.

Urgent, eccentric and honest - or if you listen to Henry, "ugly, unpretentious and pretentious" - TYK may be self-deprecating but they could just be a cut above the rest.

The Young Knives play Barfly, Glasgow on March 2
Here Comes the Rumour Mill is out now.