Whenyoung: Festivals, Declan McKenna and Gender Equality

‘The idea of a show should be a group of people coming together to enjoy music. It was refreshing to see Declan Mckenna calling out a guy when a fight broke out at his show in Manchester.’

After witnessing their captivating set as first support for Declan McKenna at the Manchester Academy back in April, I reached out to the Dublin-London trio that is Whenyoung. Having performed alongside the likes of Dream Wife and Superfood to more recently supporting Peace and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, these rising stars are ones to keep an eye on.

‘So you’ve recently played shows with both Declan McKenna and
The Vaccines, both huge shows and huge venues! How was that as an
experience for you?’

‘It’s a real adrenaline rush to play to such big crowds in massive
venues. It was the first time we’d played to audiences of this size
and we loved it. The energy and atmosphere is euphoric. Also, Declan
McKenna and his band and The Vaccines are all lovely people.’ 
They went on to explain, We’re lucky to have a great agent who booked these shows for us. That, and hopefully Declan and The Vaccines actually wanted us to open up for them!!’. Having witnessed their set at Declan McKenna I can guarantee they were very much wanted, not just by the band but the warm welcome from the crowd was noticeable from the get-go.

Aoife Powell, Whenyoung. credit - whenthehornblows.com

‘What other shows do you have in the future that you’re
looking forward to?’

‘We’re playing lots of festivals this summer and we’re really looking
forward to these as it’s our first time playing them. We’re playing at
Latitude, Deershed, Truck, Kendall Calling, Y Not, Neverworld,
Bestival, All Together Now and Electric Picnic.’

At the time of the interview, Whenyoung had just recently released the single ‘Pretty Pure’ along with B-side (my personal favourite) ‘The Collector’.

‘Pretty Pure is probably more representative of our sound especially
our live sound as we like upfront, melodic, pop songs. It’s about how
being true to oneself is the ultimate feeling of purity. The Collector is a more dreamy song inspired by the films of French new wavedirector Eric Rohmer and the idea of finding yourself and your place
of belonging in the world.’

However, they have since also released their latest single ‘Heaven On Earth’. The new track had been also previewed at their string of live shows. ‘It’s a song about one person’s idea of heaven being someone else’s idea of hell. We also have an EP coming out later in the summer.

Left to right: Myself, Aoife Power, Andrew Flood, Paige Janey (editor), Niall Burns

Following the theme of my last article, (Here’s Where we Draw the Line), I spoke to frontwoman, Aoife and the rest of the band about if and how the band may have been affected by sexual prejudices and mistreatment that is current, particularly in the indie music scene.

The people around us, be it our friends and management are all advocates of gender equality. Hopefully people give us opportunities based on our music rather than our sex.’ Aoife goes on to say, ‘I think there’s a certain idea of how a woman should be and act but
that’s not exclusive to the music industry, it’s a societal expectation. Personally, I’ve mostly had good experiences so far. I’m lucky to be in a band with two men who treat me as an equal and would have my back when I’m treated any differently.’

I’m not sure what can be done other than looking out for each other and making sure that everyone is aware that there is no place for violence or abuse at a gig.’

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