Unknown Mortal Orchestra + Yuno @ O2 Institute, Birmingham, UK – 19th November 2018

Review and photography by Robert Barrett

Bedroom pop is the in thing at the moment. Long gone are the days of artists booking out recording studios and expensive equipment. Now anyone with the right equipment and determination can record at home. At the forefront of this music revolution, especially in the psychedelic genre is Ruban Nielson also known as Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Currently touring the album ‘Sex & Food’ and the instrumental album ‘IC-01 Hanoi’, the O2 Institute was paid a visit on a chilly Monday night.

Artist Yuno was the support act for tonight’s gig. A recent signing to the label Sub Pop, he brought some relaxed R’n’B to the stage. His set wasn’t mind blowing, it wouldn’t rock your world. But the laid back grooves kept the building audience entertained until he left the stage.

Amid a beautiful lighting set up Ruban and band entered. They wasted no time in getting the crowds attention as a lengthy guitar solo during ‘From The Sun’ included Ruban doing a lap of the venue. Weaving in and out of the in-awe audience, he put on a masterclass of guitar playing.

There was a short break where the band were introduced. the current lineup contains both Ruban’s brother and father, along with his friend Jake Portrait. The family, playing the songs to perfection. ‘So Good At Being In Trouble’ got a rapturous reception from the crowd. Occasionally Ruban would retreat to a seat, almost a callback to the bedroom the songs would have been recorded in.

Ending on ‘Cant Keep Checking My Phone’ the band left on a high. For a Monday night, there wasn’t a better place to be than under the spell of Unknown Mortal Orchestra.

(The original version of this article was first published on Gigjunkies http://www.gigjunkies.com/band-reviews/unknown-mortal-orchestra-yuno-at-o2-institute-birmingham-uk-19th-november-2018/)

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