Live Review: Yonaka – London


Birthdays, London, 19th January 2017

Words: Lauren Grigor

yonakaComing on stage around 10:30, the four piece were looking chuffed after their incredible day – Signing with a major label is a big deal for a young band but they’ve earned it, delivering set after set, they never lose energy and always leave me wanting more (album please!)

The last year has seen Yonaka moving from a garage band from Brighton to BBC introducing stage and headlining tours

It’s good to see a band who haven’t had a lot of official releases, vary up their set list; too often new bands end up with a playlist that doesn’t change for months – sometimes years.

Front woman Theresa is at ease in front of the crowd, bringing a raw sexual energy that is all her own and doesn’t have a hint of “Please look at me”, more like “I’m a nasty, feminine powerhouse, deal with it”.
Yonaka delivered. As always.
Run, with it’s graceful tempo changes and thundering chorus, with Theresa belting out those hard notes effortlessly. Drongo was a track that I wasn’t sure about when it was released as a single but my god, it is a full-on singalong dark brooding, two-fingers-up beast.


Ignorance was the other clear stand out with guitarist George giving guttural screaming backing vocals that makes the song feel like it belongs in a horror film. The lyrics “Ignorance is not bliss to me…. I’m awake now” is pretty badass and the song finishes like a kick in the teeth. Rob and Alex on drums and bass respectively are equally absorbed in their instruments as they are with the band. The whole group is focused but still interactive with each other in a way that never feels rehearsed.


The only thing I’m ready to see from them is more audience interaction between songs. They communicate their message so well while playing but when talking they are brief and it can be hard to distinguish what they’re saying – I want to hear the titles for songs and I know they’ve got the charisma!


There were a few other songs that I hadn’t heard yet but sadly I didn’t get the names. However each track is unique and recognisable. I could never get bored during their shows. Overall, I cannot shut up about this band. I implore you to listen to them and find out when they are playing your town as they are ready for bigger stages and they won’t wait around

Watch the video for Drongo here:


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    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

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