I went to the Wild Beasts Brixton gig a few days ago. It was strangely schizophrenic in feel, like the crowd and myself love the older songs, there’s obviously a shift in the audience, with Tom Fleming asking ‘who was here when we first played this song 10 years ago?’ to utter silence he responded ‘I thought so’.
Not 10 years in my case, but certainly around the mid-late 00s, which given the response (although not as welcomed as ‘Hooting And Howling’, ‘All The King’s Men’ and an excellent ‘The Devil’s Crayon’ which was my highlight) to the newer songs and the age group, it seemed mostly people who had gotten into them in the last album or so. Which lead to strangeness where I was dancing like a loon to some songs, and the rest dancing to the more recent songs…strange thing is I’ve bought all the albums, including the last two…and I could only name a few they played (Wanderlust, Palace, – Smother is a complete blank…which is shocking because I spent weeks listening to that album, trying to get it’s downbeatness – but I suspect Present Tense will sink into a similar cloud of amnesiac meh, sadly).
Anyway the revelation was William Doyle aka East India Youth, whose song ‘Dripping Down’ must be a 6Music fave because I know it through some strange arcane osmosis (the video for it is above). I actually headed there early to catch his set, and he was late so I got to see it…mostly in dark, with glitchy 1980’s style moody video projections and hardly any light on him after the ‘hit’, he was a one-man laptop band, with guitar (or was it bass? Hard to see), mixer, keyboards…wouldn’t be surprised if he was doing the visuals too.
One thing: if you’re going to do a blackout set, cover up the glowing logo on your laptop, otherwise it looks like an advert for Apple 😉
But he won me over as he’s like a James Blake who rather than being brought up on new age and folk, has been fed Berghain techno and big room house from an early age, as well as the ability to pen a decent song, rather than mope over substep beat. I mean, with a room full of bearded hipster fey indie types, to end your set on what basically was a hard deep house (the original sort, not the wussy stuff that gets called that nowadays) rave-tastic house track with crazy visuals, well respect to you! I loved it…maybe it was the recent death of Frankie Knuckles, but I was really up for a dance….something that was oddly lacking in the Wild Beasts set, given their uptempo newie.
So here’s his remix of Wild Beasts that he’s just posted, which makes that Present Tense sound much more interesting.