Hostess Weekender on November 8th was supposed to be an apex of music festivals, a revelry for all indie music lovers to partake in – unfortunately due to “combination of political unrest” and “moderate ticket sales”, the festival had to be cancelled.
However, thanks to the efforts of Symmetry Entertainment, the concert promoter managed to salvage one of the acts from the previously formidable lineup – Wild Beasts – and provided an ace show at that. The English quartet from Kendal was on point, delivering a show built on the soundscape of swirling guitars and lush vocals at Beep Studios on a Saturday night.
Appearing on stage shortly after 8.30pm, the English quartet kicked into opener “Mecca”. Amid the jungle of instruments and effect pedals, Wild Beasts seemed completely in their element. Frontman Hayden Thorpe, hair neatly slicked and decked in denim, deftly handled bass-duties and lulled audience members with his mellow voice. Guitarist/co-vocalist Tom Flemming was a contrast with his higher falsetto, demonstrating it on songs such as “Bed of Nails”, “Wanderlust”, and “This is Our Lot”.
Many Wild Beasts songs were built on sharp vocal interplay, and Thorpe and Flemming complimented each other’s perfectly, melding together to provide a flashflood of kaleidoscopic consonance. Multi-instrumentalist Ben Little was a corner-stone of the band, providing the band with musical support and ingenuity.
The band was in high spirits, delivering sharp one-liners and interacting intimately with the crowd. “These lights definitely make us look pretty,” Thorpe quipped, comparing it to their previous gig in Bangkok.
“The biggest man doesn’t win, the smartest man doesn’t win, it’s the coldest man that wins”, Flemming declared cryptically, before launching into a rendition of 2014’s “Nature Boy”. The dark bassline and bongo beats set the mood for the evening, while drenching the band in blue light. The band ended with crowd favourites “All the King’s men” and “Lion’s Share” from mercury-nominated album Two Dancers and 2013 effort, Smother, drawing immense applause from audience members.
Beep Studios was emanating warmth by the end of the set. Quite a turnout had been achieved, and a number of stalwarts from the music industry were seen loitering outside the gallery. Suddenly, without warning, it started pouring.
Oh well, we all can’t be winners.
Photo credit to Sweehuang Teo of Symmetry Entertainment