Lylo @ King Tut's, Glasgow, 23 Aug
As part of King Tut's Summer Nights series, Lylo's 80s-indebted sound gets us up and dancing
It’s 2019, and the 1980s are plaguing our nation. Everyone from Angel Olsen to Mac DeMarco are adopting the decade’s sound, and while it’s still considered to be an innovative and revolutionary period of music, it certainly feels like some acts are currently investing in synthesisers simply because it is the ‘mode du jour’.
But one band committed to celebrating the decade is Lylo, a genre-bending five-piece with influences ranging from electronica to jazz and right round to 70s psych rock. The band are a year removed from Post Era, an album that refined their sound and gave them considerable attention from critics and fans alike. The record did a great service in making 80s sounds feel like you’re hearing them for the first time, and indeed the energy and eclectic influences (though certainly in debt to the decade that brought us David Byrne and Robert Smith) are channeled into something that sounds almost ludicrously fresh and dynamic.
Tonight, Lylo display a performance that would rival their forerunners, and perhaps even make them a touch jealous. Mitch Flinn as frontman is an absolute joy to watch, and from the first beat he draws us in with his dreamy kinetic movements and crooning vocals. His legs appear to be possessed at times, elegantly carrying him from one side of the stage to the other, while he dextrously plays guitar and nods along to the bold saxophone refrains of Iain McCall, playing his final show with the band.
The synchronicity of Lylo's members is mesmerising, particularly on tracks Submerge and Turn My Jacket. The offbeat drums, lush guitar and polished saxophone riffs all consolidate into a sound that is completely whole, while simultaneously showing off the impressive musicianship of its individual members. The intricacy of each instrument as they wind around delightful chord changes gives the impression that each sound is of equal importance to the band, and it's clear that a high level of craft has gone into every exuberant track.
The pure joy exhibited on the faces of both the audience and band members tonight is indicative of the pleasure that revivalism can bring when delivered in newfangled form. While it doesn't always guarantee results that truly capture the vitality of an era, Lylo nail the innovative sound of the 80s through a novel and dynamic approach, twinning it with a simple appreciation of music that gets you up out of your chair and dancing. So here’s to the 80s, for they have delivered us Lylo.