WHILE many radio stations claim to champion contemporary music, BBC Radio 6 is perhaps the only mainstream body which offers a platform to true boundary-pushing newcomers.
It figured, then, that Edinburgh’s Young Fathers were allotted a prestigious slot on The Sage Gateshead’s concourse at the channel’s Tyneside festival; the trio being of a superior and increasingly rare vintage whose entire ethos centres on daring to be different.
Indeed, last year’s Mercury Prize winners are virtually an impossible outfit to categorise, with no tags offering their concoction of rap, alternative pop and spliced electronica its just dues (compère Chris Hawkins even introduced them as a “psychedelic hip-hop boy band” - a statement made in jest, yet one which perfectly exemplifies the conundrum they present).
Whatever they are, a blend of familiar fans and curious onlookers couldn’t help but be engrossed by the trio’s electric stage presence, which made a mockery of those who derided them for lacking charisma when accepting their big accolade.
And that same explosive energy was likewise ingrained in their music; from the slow build and intense crescendo of War to the ardent soulful vigour of Low.
There’s plenty more where they came from too, with Rain Or Shine and Shame providing a tantalising taster of new LP White Men Are Black Men Too, due to hit shelves in April.
Along with rapturously-received opener Get Up, the latter did in fact suggest they have all the tools to become genuine bona fide stars.
But why bother with mainstream mundanity when you’re already drawing adulation with your own fantastically disparate sonic path?