Here’s a band who bring me out in effusive praise of the I’ve-seen-the-future-and-it’s-from-Kendal variety.
When a kerfuffle greeted news of a recent London gig in which third album Smother was to be played in its entirety, I was delighted when it came to Tyneside first.
Hailed as another masterpiece, Smother is different to its predecessors with exquisite textures and atmospheric magic.
You’d think it’d need punctuating on stage by the inventive bravado of the first two records but I needn’t have worried. We got a parade of favourites at the end.
On record, Smother takes time. Without the rush of its predecessors, it’s still full of characters, carnality and concepts of masculinity.
Clearly this was not the work of a band resting on Mercury-nominated laurels but allowing a synth-led sound to emerge from guitar-led beginnings.
Nobody else sounds like Wild Beasts and they sound like nothing before them.
Lion’s Share starts things with a dramatic throb and the swaying groove of Bed of Nails cites Shelley and Frankenstein. Deeper and a wonderful Loop The Loop follow.
Then Tom Fleming confesses they were trying to be moody but something’s up with the mic so they’ll resort to banter.
Hoisting a beer bottle as Hayden Thorpe sups red wine, he declares: “You can take the boy out of Kendal…”
Reach A Bit Further is the sound of a band so confident it can seemingly create anything.
After End Come Too Soon it’s a waltz through The Fun Powder Plot then The Devil’s Crayon.
With Hooting and Howling a rousing finish, Wild Beasts prove they’re not just Cumbria’s but Britain’s best band of recent times.