Who are Yard Act? The Leeds post-punk band topping the charts with their debut album The Overload

The no wave band from Leeds have shot to fame after the release of their album The Overload this week.

By Abi Whistance
Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 1:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 1:46 pm

The band, who first formed in September 2019, comprises James Smith (vocals), Ryan Needham (bass), Sam Shjipstone (guitar) and Jay Russell (drums).

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Prior to the announcement of their debut album last year, the band had only released a total of four singles independently, all of which featured on an EP, titled Dark Days, released towards the end of 2021.

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This week Yard Act released their debut record, The Overload, which has risen to the top of the Official Albums Chart and is now neck and neck with Years and Years' latest album.

According to the Official Albums Chart website, fewer than 400 chart sales separate Years and Years from the Leeds post-punk outfit - making Yard Act the potential first band of the year to reach number one with a debut album.

So far The Overload has received largely positive reviews, with The Guardian giving it four out of five stars, writing: "The Leeds quartet’s state-of-the-nation debut is an instant classic."

The group has also been dubbed as "one to watch" by the BBC in their Sound of 2022 shortlist, as well as being named one of Paste's Best New Artists of 2021.

Leeds rock band Yard Act. Pictured is frontman James Smith, bassist Ryan Needham, guitarist Sam Shipstone and Jay Russell on drums. Photo: James Brown

Earlier this month Yard Act were announced as Lamacq's pick for the Leeds date of Independent Venue Week, which is being held at Belgrave Music Hall this year.

The band will perform a special show there on Tuesday 1 February, with Lamacq featuring Yard Act's live performance on his drive-time show on 6 Music, as well as an audio tour of Leeds hosted by Whiskas from ¡Forward, Russia! and Simon Rix from the Kaiser Chiefs.

Acting Premier League referee Jon Moss, who runs local record store The Vinyl Whistle, will also be a guest on the special Independent Venue Week show, along with presenter Emily Pilbeam from BBC Introducing Leeds.

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