Wild Beasts, Cutaways
Its a pretty miserable evening in rainy old Belfast, so the decent numbers down in time for the support act bodes well for tonight. Local electro pop troupe, The Cutaways, cling on to any free space amidst the mountains of gear on stage for the headline act.
Playing tracks from their Earth & Earthly Things album, its drilled home to me just how catchy the Cutaways are. These guys make ear worming pop tunes, that may not always follow a nice traditional verse/chorus, but have you humming away to these slightly strange, quirky hooks that are littered throughout their tunes.
Tracks like Lovers Are Lunatics and Milo of Kroton have me singing the lyrics back at the band. And what's even more exciting are the new tunes. They seem a little more serious, yet completely remain in the fun pop category if that makes any sense. However it certainly isn't the most energetic set I've ever seen them play and the crowd are a little refrained, but these guys definitely have more goodies up their sleeves.
The headliners kick things off with tribal drumming that instantly calls the crowd forward towards the stage - and so begins the brooding and hypnotising presence of the Wild Beasts.
One of the main reasons I ended up here tonight, excluding the fact that their new album Two Dancers is damn fine, is that I had to see if Hayden Thorpe could really carry off that strange falsetto live. When they played album opener The Fun Powder Plot I found that, hell yes he can but soon I discovered co-vocalist Tom Fleming.
It was during the current single All The Kings Men that Fleming swapped places with Thorpe and made us look around puzzled. It seems I wasn't the only one to think Fleming done low/Thorpe done high in the vocal department. Turns out Fleming has one hell of a croon too.
Fleming and Thorpe swap duties throughout the gig, while drummer Chris Talbot creates danceable rhythms to these dark moody soundscapes. The addition of a bongo has never felt so dark.
There's no show with this band - just four great musicians playing intense, somewhat pompous, yet incredible enjoyable music.
Surprised at the crowd there on this cold and wet night, they recall their last visit to Belfast which involved four punters. If they continue on this form, perhaps the next time theyre in town it wont be so easy to just waltz up and pay on the door.