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Wild Beasts / November 2011 UK Tour

 
By on Thursday, 25th August 2011 at 9:30 am
 

Wild Beasts will be touring the UK in November. It’s no wonder some of the dates have already sold out; the band’s album released this year, ‘Smother’, was considered by many as criminally omitted from this year’s Mercury Prize nominations.

Support will come from the fabulous Dutch Uncles.

Thursday 10 November 2011 – Birmingham HMV Library
Friday 11 November 2011 – Oxford O2 Academy
Saturday 12 November 2011 – Leeds Constellations
Monday 14 November 2011 – Edinburgh Liquid Rooms
Tuesday 15 November 2011 – Aberdeen Lemon Tree
Wednesday 16 November 2011 – Manchester Cathedral (sold out)
Thursday 17 November 2011 – Manchester Cathedral
Saturday 19 November 2011 – Bristol Anson Rooms
Sunday 20 November 2011 – Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Monday 21 November 2011 – Southampton University
Wednesday 23 November 2011 – London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire (sold out)
Thursday 24 November 2011 – London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
Friday 25 November 2011 – Cambridge Junction
Saturday 26 November 2011 – Brighton Concorde II (sold out)

 

Field Day 2011: Coco’s Roundup (Part 2)

 
By on Friday, 19th August 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

Part two of Coco’s experiences at Field Day 2011… (Part 1 is here.)

Time was tight as I had to rush to Jamie xx’s set, I had less than 10 minutes to do so. And with no surprises at all, I found myself lost in Victoria Park again. Fortunately, I did end up at the right stage for Jamie xx. Whoa. It was a DJ set from him and people danced like wild animals – not joking. There was a man who kept crashing in the area in front of the barriers and he nailed a solo dance show, before he was sent away by the security. The heavy beats drove everyone crazy and I saw someone holding a rabbit toy in the crowd. It was pretty weird. There were also a lot of photographers taking pictures of Jamie xx non-stop throughout the set, and he didn’t look too impressed by that!

Fast forwarding a bit, I went to see James Blake next. Also a big, big rush and I got lost again. Never mind. The set started with some problems with James’ microphone, so he stopped and had it fixed after one song. That didn’t diminish the crowd’s enthusiasm, instead, the crowd got bigger. Before he played one of my favourite songs, ‘CMYK’; he said it was for people who knew the song. Shamefully, ‘CMYK’ didn’t get much reaction from the crowd. I was miming to it and the lighting was of lilac/light pink colour was gorgeous. I was lost for words when James played ‘I Never Learnt How To Share’. I was simply amazed by how he looped his own vocals and added another octave on top of the loop, in order to create the effect you hear in the album track. This time, the crowd didn’t surprise me by giving a big cheer at the ‘wrong song’. Everyone repeated the words “there’s a limit to your love” with James as he played ‘Limit To Your Love’. The whole set was near-perfect except the little technical flaw from the beginning. There was also a natural defect – the English weather didn’t cooperate and rained (quite heavily) during the middle of his set. I had no umbrella with me because I trusted the BBC and thought it was going to be sunny. (Boo.) Glad the rain stopped after James Blake’s mind-blowing set. I went to have a look at the Horrors. I’m not a huge fan of theirs but during the time I stayed, they did play some good tunes. Clashing with Wild Beasts, I left for the festival headliner.

Wild Beasts played the main stage and I was way back because I couldn’t get to the front. Due to my relatively small size, I couldn’t see anything at all, I could barely see the lights from the stage. The music was of high quality, they played a lot of songs from ‘Smother’. A bunch of people who stood next to me formed a human chain while they played ‘Bed Of Nails’. It’s nice to see how music bonds people together, literally. I saw a lot of ladies moving their bodies along to the music, and I am proud to say I was one of them, though I was probably lacking their expressiveness. Wild Beasts played a new song and told us to ‘get used to the sound’. The song was louder than stuff from ‘Smother’ and had a lot of toms in it. I’d say it was more similar to their old stuff than to ‘Smother’. I didn’t stay until the end of the set as I had to pack to leave London in the morning. Such a shame. Nevertheless, I was still content as I could hear ‘Albatross’ played live. Faultless.

In short, I experienced far too many clashes and I missed out the following acts when I really wanted to see: 2:54, Cloud Control, Clock Opera, SBTRKT, Tribes and Factory Floor. I kept seeing people praising Factory Floor’s set, that made me even more regretful. Having said that, I had a really good time and met a lot of people. I look forward to Field Day 2012!

 

Video of the Moment #539: Wild Beasts

 
By on Wednesday, 3rd August 2011 at 6:00 pm
 

One of my most exciting live bands of the moment, Wild Beasts, have released a performance video for ‘Bed of Nails’, the new single from this year’s new album ‘Smother’. Perfect in case you haven’t had a chance to see them live like I did in mid-July.

My favourite comment on YouTube for this video? “Love the song. Love the band.? Love the beard.” Says it all. Enjoy it below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZaevasFRUg[/youtube]

 

Live Review: Wild Beasts with Milagres at 9:30 Club, Washington, DC – 16th July 2011

 
By on Wednesday, 20th July 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

“There’s a remarkable amount of ‘wooos’ tonight,” remarked an amused Hayden Thorpe of Wild Beasts in the middle of their set Saturday night at the 9:30 Club. Indeed, the mostly young crowd watching the Kendal band play songs from their current album ‘Smother’ and 2009’s ‘Two Dancers’ catcalled and, a little disturbingly, enjoyed calling out what songs they wanted to hear. All night. At first it was calls from all over for ‘Albatross’. Once ‘Albatross’ was played – rather early in the set I’d like to point out – I wondered what the next shouts would be for. I didn’t have to wait long; it seemed like everyone now wanted to hear ‘Hooting and Howling’. How odd they must have felt, just days before everyone and their nan was saying they would be nominated for the 2011 Mercury Prize. (Which, sadly, they weren’t.)

But before I go into more detail about the headlining set, let’s talk about the support act. Milagres, from Brooklyn, is a band you want to like. The band members themselves look like they could have stepped out from your neighbourhood bar. Not pretentious at all. At one point between songs, the guitarist/synth player appeared to be at a complete loss for words, having his own “deer in headlights” moment. Bless.

I don’t need to tell you how common it is to find a band trying the electro/rock formula. In order to succeed, you really need to stand out, and Milagres played a respectable, if not thrilling, opening set. The one song that saved their set from being completely hohum was set closer ‘Glowing Mouth’, which showed the band’s ability to orchestrate a compelling song whose sum was much greater than its parts. So, in other words, compared to most opening bands I’ve seen at the 9:30 this year, Milagres seemed to fit in with Wild Beasts perfectly. Maybe their debut album, planned for a release later this year, will showcase the band’s strengths better.

But let’s get back to the band everyone was there to see. The music of Wild Beasts is the stuff of dreams. Until you’ve actually seen them live, it’s hard to believe that four people is all they need to create their sound. (Well, they do have an extra touring member to assist in keys and percussion, but still…) I first caught them live at Roskilde last summer, enjoying the second half of their set on the smallest stage after departing from Gorillaz’s set at the massive Orange stage. I thought this show in DC wasn’t as good as my first experience with them; maybe it was some special magic that night in Denmark? Not sure. I was sure, however, that this was the Kendal four-piece’s last night in America, after a short tour of our continent somehow crowbarred into a busy summer festival schedule.

Falsetto is usually linked to feyness but for whatever reason, it’s very becoming to Hayden Thorpe. (Maybe it’s the full beard that assures you of his masculinity. Despite the majority of the audience being male, there were definite vocal female screams of approval.) In any event, his vocals, dreamy and expansive, were amazing to hear alone or when put together with Tom Fleming’s rougher style – a dynamic that works. I prefer this year’s ‘Smother’ to the previous two albums, which was a good thing, because the set was heavy on newer songs and those from 2009’s ‘Two Dancers’.

The set began strong with the hypnotic drumming of ‘Plaything’ and continued on with the sultriness of ‘Deeper’ and the bounciness of ‘We Still Got the Taste Dancin’ on Our Tongues’. Later on, ‘Bed of Nails’ and ‘Lion’s Share’, arguably the best songs off ‘Smother’, went down a treat. The night came to an appropriate close with ‘End Came Too Soon’, a hauntingly gorgeous ballad that won’t be easily forgotten by all those present in the club that night.

After the cut: set list and more photos.


Continue reading Live Review: Wild Beasts with Milagres at 9:30 Club, Washington, DC – 16th July 2011

 

Single Review: Wild Beasts – Albatross

 
By on Friday, 15th April 2011 at 2:00 pm
 

Wild Beasts were one of my great surprises at Roskilde. Blokes singing in registers higher than normal for men? A little weird to me. Still, this band from Kendal managed to win me over by their engaging live performance, getting me past those notes I thought were sonically impossible for men to achieve.

‘Albatross’ is the first single released from their forthcoming album, ‘Smother’. While it isn’t as immediately catchy as ‘We Still Got the Taste Dancin’ On Our Tongues’ from their 2009 album ‘Two Dancers’, it has a cleanness and expansiveness that I find charming as well as fresh. It hasn’t been overthought; in its spareness, it has a wild, unconventional beauty. It’s too bad that Black Swan film came out last year, because I can so see this as background music to such an artistic work.

Hayden Thorpe’s voice may be an acquired taste, but I think even people who aren’t fans of Wild Beasts will find themselves drawn to this track.

8.5/10

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUJYqhKZrwA[/youtube]

A special Record Store Day version of the ‘Albatross’ single will be released on 16 April (yes, tomorrow, this Saturday); it’ll be a 7″ and only available in selected record shops. ‘Smother’, Wild Beasts’ third studio album, is due for release on the 9th of May in the UK.

 

This week’s Gonzo – Arctic Monkeys chat with Alexa about their new album, and Miles Kane talks about the solo life

 
By on Friday, 15th April 2011 at 12:30 pm
 

Like Arctic Monkeys? Then I dare say you will enjoy tonight’s MTV Gonzo – the last show in the current series, in fact. By now you have heard their new tracks ‘Brick by Brick’ and ‘Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair‘, surely? Well, Alexa has a super exclusive chat with the band to discuss their forthcoming album ‘Suck It and See’, coming out this summer. Alex Turner’s former Last of the Shadow Puppets bandmate Miles Kane also makes a return appearance on tonight’s episode to talk about the solo life (we mean professionally, folks!)

Who else is on? Example and Wretch 32 come by the brown couch to talk about their recent collaboration and offer an exclusive performance of ‘Unorthodox’. Acoustically! One of Alexa’s hot new band tips (and for sure, a hot tip in the UK these days, judging from the manic reactions to their shows in the UK this month with the Vaccines), Chicago’s Smith Westerns, take the time to introduce themselves. [Editor’s note: We’ll be bringing you an exclusive Smiths Westerns interview of our own very soon on TGTF.] For Director’s Cut, Wild Beasts talk us through the making of their wonderfully weird new video for ‘Albatross’. Does this all sound amazingly good? Then tune in tonight.

MTV Gonzo airs tonight (Friday) at 7 PM on MTV Music, with a repeat at 8 PM on MTV Rocks.

 
 
 

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