Monday, November 28, 2011

Wild Beasts in Shepherds Bush

By a bit of diary juggling and frantic tube connections just managed to squeeze in a trip to the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire to see Wild Beasts, and it was fab.

If you don't know them Wild Beasts are a guitar based band from England's Lake District, though they have recently migrated south to London by way of Leeds. They have an unusual sound, as if they are the chamber music of rock, a falsetto voice over metallic chords. 

Here it was a bit more full blooded, with heavy base tuned to make rib-cages and the sticky floor vibrate. Maybe a little too heavy for the delicate numbers but it certainly gave the Hooting and Howling song an edge that's not there in the CD.

It was a great set, reinforcing how good their writing is, quality that gave them a Mercury Prize nomination. Again and again I'd find myself thinking "Oh I like this one" with the occasional "I really like this one".

The gig ended with "The end comes too soon", its climactic chord held for minutes, shimmering around the theatre, circling an audience looking up, as the band retreated into the stage's shadows to drink a glass of wine.

It was a bold, almost experimental move, a far cry from mainstream pop risking comparison with prog-rock excesses, but for me it worked, creating a memorable experience similar to the hypnotic effects of Steve Reich.

A good evening out in London town well entertained by a band worth watching out for.

Links here to reviews from The Independent, Daily Mail and Star.

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