I thought Wild Beasts were superb last night. S, A and I embarked on a noble and brave quest to journey from the calm and charm of our GL postcodes to the edgy city streets of Bristol and the fabulous venue known simply as the Thekla. It was fine to view such a compelling and original pop group in a compact and atmospheric arena. Wild Beasts provide epic, sweeping soundscapes utilising a persuasive combination of voices; the thrusting falsetto of Hayden Thorpe complements the croony, Scott Walkery tones of Tom Fleming earnestly and well. The songs from the band’s latest long player, Two Dancers, are elegiac, magisterial and, well, big and the small stage and the wonderful sound of the Thekla embellished these well-honed slices of art perfectly. Highlights included an imposing All The King’s Men and a striking Hooting And Hollering. The haircuts were splendid too; I particularly enjoyed the guitarist Ben Little’s angular quiff. This is an unusual group with real presence. The new album is packed with ostentatious treasures and it was merry to witness this young collection of hepcats proffering their delightful wares with such energy, wit and aptitude.
I note that little is happening gig-wise at the Gloucester Guildhall this autumn and this disappoints. I am pleased to report that tickets have been obtained for a couple of Bristol concerts though and I look forward to seeing The Fall and Girls soon. I am off to Wolverhampton on Thursday evening to witness The Cult showcasing their lively Love LP and I am happy to revisit my youth for an hour or so. I’m tempted by the tasteful and melodic Grizzly Bear at Bristol’s Anson Rooms in November too.
I made a compilation CD last night to play to my chums as we travelled on that Holy Trinity of motorways (M5, M4, M32) towards our recital. The song titles spelled out ‘Wild Beasts Thekla’ (I had a bit of time on my hands yesterday) and it was engaging to watch my comrades trying to guess each song from its intro and second-guessing what my next selection might be. I publish my setlist for posterity above.