Gang Of Youths to feature on debut episode of Australia’s MTV Unplugged

Written by Tyler Jenke on 18th June, 2018
Gang Of Youths to feature on debut episode of Australia’s MTV Unplugged

Last year saw MTV’s iconic Unplugged series make its Southern Hemisphere debut with a stunning performance from New Zealand artist Maala. Now, close to a full year later, it’s Australia’s turn, with Gang Of Youths being announced for Australia’s very first MTV Unplugged performance.

Ever since MTV Unplugged first premiered in November of 1989, countless musicians have been performing stunning, stripped-back sets of their wonderful tunes. From Nirvana to Jay-Z, and from Eric Clapton to Lauryn Hill, the performances have been equal parts tender, immersive, and awe-inspiring, with fans revelling in the opportunity to see their favourite musicians presented in a different light.

While Crowded House were the first Australian band to perform for the series back in 1990, Midnight Oil followed soon after in 1993. However, the years that followed have seen no other Australians take to the legendary stage.

Now, with the news that Australia is set to receive its very own edition of the series for the first time ever, local legends Gang Of Youths have been announced as the local band to kick things off, set to showcase their phenomenal talent in an intimate, stripped back setting.


Presented by VodkaO and hosted by Ash London, MTV Unplugged Melbourne is set to be the first of a series of special televised events which hope to show off Australia’s greatest talent on the world stage.

Taking place at Melbourne’s Meat Market on July 25th, Gang Of Youths are set to take time out of their busy schedule to showcase a series of brilliant songs from their chart-topping 2017 album, Go Father In Lightness, with the program broadcasting on MTV on Foxtel, Foxtel Now and Fetch later in the year.

MTV Unplugged is one of the most famous music shows ever created and we are excited to bring it to Australia for the first time,” explained Simon Bates, Vice President and Head of MTV APAC. “MTV is distributed in 790 million+ homes so it’s an exciting opportunity for Australian artists to potentially reach a new global audience.”

“We couldn’t be more excited to kick things off with Gang of Youths, undoubtedly one of the best bands in Australia right now.”

“Melbourne is the home of live music in Australia, and we also have more live music venues per capita than anywhere else in the world,” added Peter Bingeman, CEO of Visit Victoria.

MTV Unplugged Melbourne will help us share our stories to new audiences, not only with regard to our music credentials, but also the neighbourhoods, restaurants, cafés, events, arts and other cultural experiences in a city full of surprises.”


In anticipation of this upcoming performance, we had a chat with Gang Of Youths bassist Max Dunn to talk about what it’s like to be taking part in such a landmark musical event.

“It’s pretty iconic, most musicians have some memory of watching the Nirvana set or some of those pretty important MTV sets, so it’s an opportunity to showcase our stuff in a different light, and we’re really excited about it,” explained Dunn.

“We’re excited about creating something that’s a bit special and a bit unique for people to watch.”

“A lot of thought’s gone into making it real special and real different,” he continues. “It’s not going to be just like us getting up and smashing out some bangers, it’s going to be really interesting.”

Of course, for a band as grandiose and epic as Gang Of Youths, an acoustic performance is set to be in stark contrast to the group’s regular shows, so fans are undoubtedly in for something special.

“Dave toured with Chris Cornell (in 2015), just doing acoustic stuff, which was really life-changing for him, but we jam together so much though,” Dunn explains. “We all live together in the same house in London, you know, somebody will be sitting at the piano, somebody will be jamming.”

“We’re a bunch of musicians who are best friends, so we kind of play a lot of different stuff together.”


“[The Unplugged performance will] definitely be chill, and it’s really cool because the record is not straight-up rock music, there’s a lot of different stuff going on, and there’s a lot of different opportunities for different instruments.”

“I remember when Dave played ‘Radioface’ for the first time in his mum’s garage to me on the acoustic guitar, and that’s how you hear it, y’know?”

“Sometimes Dave will write a song and he’s got a lot of the production in his head, and it’s just a melody over some chords and he’s playing it on an acoustic, and that is so important to me,” he explains.

“I personally really love just playing the acoustic guitar and having a jam, and I think there’s an aspect where that’s the song in its purest form.”

“To see the melodies and vocals featuring a bit more, I just think it’s really special, and I guess that’s just what draws you in to it. You think about that Nirvana set, that’s what draws you to it; just seeing it in a more ‘this is the melody of the song’ manner.”

“This is the thing that defines people’s adolescence just played in its most purest form.”


“I just hope the fans love it,” Dunn continues. “We often talk about it like, Dave’s known for his little emotional Friday Night Lights talks before we do things and a lot of his mantra I guess revolves around the impact of the show.”

“I think this sort of thing is about how there’s going to be a kid watching this at home on MTV and hopefully gets inspired by the music,” he notes, referencing the Sex Pistols’ influential 1976 concert at the Manchester Lesser Free Trade Hall in the process.

“I think that’s part of it, but I guess it’s also an opportunity to show the songs in a different light, because I guess our live shows are pretty hectic, so it’s exciting. I don’t think it’ll be the last time we do this, so it’ll be a cool opportunity to see how it goes doing this kind of thing.”

“We’re just psyched to get back to Melbourne, it’s such a good city, and it’s weird going from remembering playing at 5pm, opening for a metal lineup at the Brunswick Hotel, and then going to playing something like this for MTV.”

“It’s just a trip, and it’s going to be fun, it’s going to be a real good time, and I think we’re all really excited to get home as well.”

Gang Of Youths are set to hit up MTV Unplugged Melbourne for its debut episode later this year, with a premiere date, and future artists taking part to be announced at a later date.

As it stands, Gang Of Youths are set to return home to Australia next month for a performance at Splendour In The Grass, before returning home once again later in the year for a marathon homecoming tour.


Gang Of Youths 2018 ‘Say Yes To Life’ Tour


Sunday, October 28th

The Forum, Melbourne, VIC (U18)

Monday, October 29th

The Forum, Melbourne, VIC

Wednesday, October 31st

The Forum, Melbourne, VIC (U18)

Saturday, November 3rd (Sold Out)

Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA

Sunday, November 4th

Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA

Tuesday, November 6th (Sold Out)

The Forum, Melbourne, VIC

Wednesday, November 7th (Sold Out)

The Forum, Melbourne, VIC

Thursday, November 8 (Sold Out)

The Forum, Melbourne, VIC

Monday, November 12th (Sold Out)

The Forum, Melbourne, VIC

Tuesday, November 13th (Sold Out)

The Forum, Melbourne, VIC

Wednesday, November 14th (Sold Out)

The Odeon Theatre, Hobart, TAS

Friday, November 16th

The Odeon Theatre, Hobart, TAS

Saturday, November 17th (Sold Out)

The Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA

Sunday, November 18th (Sold Out)

The Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, SA

Wednesday, November 21st (Sold Out)

Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Thursday, November 22nd (Sold Out)

Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Monday, November 26th

Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Tuesday, November 27th (Sold Out)

Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Thursday, November 29th

Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Friday, November 30th

Enmore Theatre, Sydney, NSW

Tickets on sale now from Gang Of Youths’ website

The article was originally published on Tone Deaf

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