Live Review
YACHT at Madame Jo Jo’s, Soho
YACHT
Madame Jo Jo's, Soho
London
20/04/10

If you’ve only experienced YACHT on record, you’ve been dealing with a rather tame beast – the boy/girl vocals delivered in that quirky American deadpan, while the layers of samples and off-kilter rhythms squirm restlessly round the precise, clockwork beats, all contained in the controlled environment of a plastic disk. Let the creature loose and you’re in for a weird ride – think Annie Lennox meets The B-52’s, infused with the slightly maniacal enthusiasm of a cheerleading squad and a solicitous confidence akin to evangelicalism. Singers Jona and Claire might as well be a pair of faith healers (Claire reaches out to a member of the audience, sagely placing her hand on their forehead and shoving with an ‘I cast thee out, Satan’ flourish), were it not for their frequently anti-religious lyrics and neatly synchronized dance moves – everything is punctuated with a gesture or pose, even their between-song banter is translated into surreal sign language. Rapturously bouncing around to backing band The Straight Gaze (har har), YACHT take their mathy-tropical tunes and poker-faced non sequitur raps to the next level of what-the-hell-is-going-on-here, with lashings of camp that would make Richard Simmons proud. They are definitely safer on the stereo, but if you catch them live, you might just be converted.

By Polly Rappaport

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Originally published in issue 17 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. May 2010