“It’s lovely to be here at Jordan College”. And with that one Philip Pullman-related quip at Exeter College Ball, I was sold on I Said Yes. For my sake, it was a good thing that the band themselves are an excellent outfit.
Rocking an instrumentally diverse lineup which had enough musical variation to elevate their sound above that of their peers, I Said Yes rattled through some crowd-pleasing covers (Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen) interspersed amongst their own tracks – tellingly, there was little disparity in quality.
Perusing through their discography, their flurry of 2016 singles as follow ups to their 2013 debut EP is unavoidable, marked in particular by the excellent ‘California’ which served to inject some life into the rather chilly weather of the ball, seasoned with pleasing references to all of American pop culture.
Meanwhile, ‘It Must Be Good’ displays their taste for restrained production and compositional subtlety building up to a rousing final minute, with a quietly impressive lyricism in lines such as “It wasn’t I was trying to be modest / I only thought that speaking was dishonest” and “Silence is the mother of invention / and I haven’t heard a word from you since then”.
In short, I Said Yes, while far from the limelight at this present moment, have the live presence and the pop sensibilities necessary to go far. I’m looking forward to it.
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