Wild Beasts at Eurosonic Noorderslag 2014 review

'Wild Beasts with added coldwave sensibilities'

Photographer: Peter CorkhillVirtual Festivals on 17 January 2021

Wild Beasts stick out on the Eurosonic festival line-up like a proverbial sore thumb, newly bruised and shiny. Four albums in, this fertile petri dish of a festival, farming hope and dreams, should be the thing of era past for Wild Beast. Alas the Kendal quartet find one thing in common with their Eurosonic cohorts, the anxious preview syndrome, what happens next might not be key to them breaking the UK market, like it could be for Jungle or Bondax, but it will certainly define their international career prospects.

If that 'comeback' single 'Wanderlust' gives any clues it's in the tighter production, synth splattered arrangements and distinctly US themed music video.

The muted reaction to their walk-on at the Grand Theatre tonight might tell you all you need to know. There's not many Wild Beasts fans here.

Set opener 'Reach A Bit Further' proves it's not just about their future in Europe though, and the magnificence of their past in the track from their third record still pulls your heart strings, perfectly pitting all four elements of this band against each other as they can at their best.

'Sweet Spot', the first of four new ones, follows. Still brooding like Wild Beasts at their best, it takes 'Smother' on another gear, grander in style and darker in tone, there's clearly a new coldwave sensibility, taking its impassioned grip around the throat of this cinematically huge song.

Bassist and lead vocalist Hayden Thorpe takes a back sit on the next new one, without title. The effect is the same though, a slow-burner but monstrously big track, dark with eerie electrical notes and occasional silences, perfectly punctured by Fleming's booming modal range.

Amongst fan favourites like 'Hooting And Howling' comes the current single 'Wanderlust'. Electrifying and curious like the first time you heard it, the punch of the live version will surely prove to be the decisive factor in turning this into a fan favourite of the future.

"What you running from?" Tom Fleming asks, leaving Groningen on 'Lion's Share', a more subdued set closer but appropriate number for a band seemingly getting warmed

Anyone hoping for the pacey indie-rock belters of old might be disappointed but it seems the next step for Wild Beasts is the necessary one.


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