Review: Gabby Young and Other Animals Album Launch, Scala


Gabby Young’s album launch extravaganza has put all other gigs to shame. It was nothing short of an indoor festival. …



Gabby Young’s album launch extravaganza has put all other gigs to shame. It was nothing short of an indoor festival. Never will you find such an intricate tapestry of cupcakes, clothing and cards at a pre-show vintage market.

The Scala ceased to exist and we were beckoned into the town of ‘Little Gabblington’ as the official compères called it.

The duo, dressed as a Reverend and Mayor, kept the audience entertained with raffle ticket-based sketches and satsuma throwing. Bunting was strewn; balloons floated above the clapping crowd.

And finally, after short sets by four of Gabby’s friends, the decadent Ms Young herself came out to play, resplendent in feather headdress, with her ‘Animals’ (some of whom were none other than the support acts that came on before her). A harmonious cohesion took place – alchemy, almost – and the big show began.

The sound that Gabby Young and her zoo create on stage can only be hinted at in a recording. Even though her new album is rollicking carnival fun, the live production is closer to musical theatre, an orgasm of Big Band Jazz and shades of Bebop. In addition to lapses into gypsy swing, this is the closest you will get to spending a night at the Copacabana during 1940s.

Highlights were the slinky ‘Neither The Beginning Nor The End,’ and a majestic rendition of ‘Segment’. Disordered order ruled as a stampede of 20 musicians swapped instruments, places and costumes. Throughout Gabby, in Midsummer’s Night Dream-inspired outfit, was flanked by Greek Goddess backing vocalists and a brass trio attired like Peter Pan’s Lost Boys.

The end came all too soon and the encore – classics like ‘We’re All In This Together’ from her debut album – should have unfurled for another day or so. Words cannot describe the plethora of varying sensations Gabby bestowed upon her salivating audience. For your own insanity, Gabby Young and Other Animals must be seen live and in full technicolour.

Words: Angel Lambo
Photography: Gem Hall


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