Prior to arriving at the Pavilion for the sold-out second gig of a 20-date European tour for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah I had been reading this article about what it apparently takes to be a rock star: $100,000 in your first year as a band could see you achieve goals such as being mentored by former British rock stars, posing for photo shoots and hanging out with models. I would hazard a guess that none of the five members of CYHSY have ever thought of those achievements as goals. Yet they arrive onstage at the overflowing Pavilion to rapturous roars of approval – it’s their first visit to the city. Five years after their self-titled debut album, you could have been forgiven for thinking people had forgotten the Brooklyn band; after all, they were the epitome of a blogger’s band. But young and old, bearded and clean-shaven have turned out in their droves for CYHSY.


Meursault singer Neil Pennycook

They started turning up for support act Meursault but weren’t exactly interested in the Edinburgh group. The talking overwhelmed the band. Their appeal for silence for a quiet song in return for a whiskey went unheeded. The Pavilion missed out though as Meursault did their best to conjure up memories of fellow Scots Frightened Rabbit with the rip-roaring’Fib’ proving the standout track. The two drummers helped too.

And so to Clap Your Hands. How much of a rockstar is singer Alec? Well, he arrived onstage in loafers, two jackets, a Matt Cardle hat that never leaves his head all night and George Costanza’s replacement glasses. There are no models around from what I could see. Yet from opener and classic first-album song ‘Let the Cool Goddess Rust Away’ we’re treated to a wonderful, perfectly paced show. Far from past it, CYHSY bring out all the hits, which mostly means we get to hear all of that glorious debut. Unsurprisingly the only track we hear from their second album (underrated, underloved and worth your while) is ‘Satan Said Dance’, the chorus to which sees Alec repeating the word ‘satan’ over and over, which brought us onto ‘Lost And Found’. (I hope you all appreciate that link right there.) It’s difficult to sing along with most of the band’s songs but this track in particular had many straining their ears to hear if there actually were lyrics being sung. The idiosyncrasies haven’t been lost since CYHSY returned with third album Hysterical last year. And the group look like they’re really enjoying things: keyboardist/guitarist Robbie looks gurns his way through the whole show. Prior to the encore the hits come out: ‘The Skin Of My Yellow Country Teeth’ has the heaving crowd going nuts before ‘Upon This Tidal Wave Of Love’ sees “child stars” being chanted back at Alec as if it was the biggest song of the last 10 years.


Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – ‘The Skin Of My Yellow Country Teeth’

The encore disappoints – new songs?!? I didn’t come for new songs! It was a wonderful show. Alec’s t-shirt read “Broke Ass Clown”. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah don’t need to invest $100,000 in the band and hope for a break. They’ve written killer songs since their formation and they know how to satisfy a crowd. They were just waiting for people to catch up.

More pictures below, all taken by Brid O’Donovan.