Money, Ardyn, Wild Beasts @ Motion, Bristol, 28/09/16

Wild BeastsWild Beasts have had a good summer. Their fifth album, Boy King, was released in August with a number of festival performances to go with it, including a headline slot at Green Man and a secret show at equally humble, End of The Road. Now, they’re kicking off their biggest ever tour of the UK, Europe and the US, starting with Motion this evening.

Support comes from Money and Ardyn at the large warehouse venue, which seems an unusual choice for the Kendall band. But perhaps it’s one of the only locations in Bristol large enough to house the many fans that Wild Beasts have acquired, since their single was released back in 2006.

Opening with “Big Cat” from their new album, they ease into their Boy King heavy set list with amazing lighting. Never one to shy away from special lighting effects, they went all out, filling one of the Motion warehouses with bright pinks, yellows, blues and reds, taken straight from their Boy King album artwork. The poppy, twisting elements of their new album explores Greek mythology and gender with the obligatory mentions of animals and creatures which we’ve grown to expect from Wild Beasts.

They nearly play Boy King in its entirety (all but three tracks to be pedantic), with highlights including “2BU” and “Celestial Creatures”. But they don’t forget their older material with “Lion’s Share” and “Wanderlust” receiving a great response from the crowd. Up tempo track “Alpha Female” ends their set list with feminist-laden falsetto from Hayden Thomas while Tom Fleming pops on and off the stage, seemingly into some kind of black hole to fetch other bass guitars though it was slightly too dark to spot this bad boy #fuckthepatriarchy.

You’ve charmed us,” Hayden Thomas says. “You’ve courted us,” as they enter the stage again for their encore. We’re given three more tracks, two of which are again from their latest album. Leaving the crowd favourite to last, they finish their set with “All King’s Men” from the 2009 album, Two Dancers. With exploding metallic and vibrant lighting, they remind Motion of their sheer showmanship. Seeing Hayden Thomas’s falsetto combined with Tom Fleming’s deep and unusual voice is all the more beautiful live; such an unusual pairing that just works. Their dream pop set up and swirling melodies prove that they’re definitely worthy of a headline performance, so maybe next summer will be even better yet for Wild Beasts.

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  1. Money, Ardyn, Wild Beasts @ Motion, Bristol 28/09/16 – Live List - 07/10/2016

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