by Finn Dickinson
_Photo credit: Primary Talent._
Nearly three years ago, I was lucky enough to bear witness to what I still regard as the greatest gig of my life so far. Young Fathers had just released their sophomore album, White Men Are Black Men Too, and were inflicting its marvellous content upon the sizeable crowd at Camden’s Koko. What followed was a glorious mixture of experimental hip-hop and leftfield pop stylings, complemented by a perfect stage set-up, damn good visuals and monumental stage presence.
In my more addled moments, I have toyed with the idea of never seeing Young Fathers live again, telling myself it couldn’t possibly live up to the standard which was set that night. Unfortunately, this misguided line of thinking has been thoroughly reinforced by a strong choice-supportive bias, which was hastily constructed after I discovered that their upcoming show at Bristol’s Trinity Centre had sold out in record time.
‘Money can’t buy happiness.’ ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ ‘I didn’t want to see Young Fathers anyway.’
As you can see, I’ve been lying to myself. But I won’t lie to you, my dear and precious reader, so here are the value judgements: Young Fathers’ recently released third album Cocoa Sugar is their boldest (and perhaps their best) offering yet. If you’re fortunate enough to secure a ticket to their upcoming Bristol show, then you’ll not only have incurred my eternal jealousy and resentment, but you’ll also have guaranteed yourself a spot at one of the best gigs you’ll go to all year – regardless of whether you believe this to be the case or not.