Gig review: Wild Beasts

Hayden Thorpe of Wild Beasts. Picture: Getty
Hayden Thorpe of Wild Beasts. Picture: Getty
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WILD Beasts are far from feral. There was a time when they might have pounced and dragged you to their boudoir but now all the predatory theatricality of their early work has been dialled down, replaced with immaculately curated soundscapes, tastefully penetrating the Arches’ brickwork at this enthusiastically subscribed show.

Wild Beasts - The Arches, Glasgow

***

There were still titbits of florid lyrical expression. “I would lie anywhere with you, any old bed of nails would do,” hymned Hayden Thorpe over persuasive, tribal drumming and glistening guitars. Thorpe is the more foppish of the group’s two vocalists, a non-quavering Antony Hegarty trading tender tenor lines with Tom Fleming, an indie crooner in a wife-beater vest.

The band might now be sick of all the Talk Talk talk but the silky synths and elegantly anguished vocals on the hypnotic likes of Sweet Spot and the classy, sensitive Mecca did nothing to quash comparisons with the cult 80s soundsmiths.

Their strategy is to beguile rather than draw blood, but when Fleming hit the lusty high notes on All The King’s Men, there was a corresponding bounce in energy from the crowd. As the set progressed, some songs more satisfying and less slippery than others, they rolled out a couple of robust electronica numbers, turned on the lasers and almost threatened to rock out before finally retreating to the graceful, expansive ambience of End Come Too Soon, sending a happy crowd home to soothing, spaced-out dreams.