Beach House, Wild Beasts, Pivot, London
Did someone call Beach House underwhelming last week? Not terrifically arresting live, was it? Who, me? Naah. Really? Well in that case Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally, you are owed an apology. The Baltimorian pair were in fact terrifically arresting tonight, topping an equalling terrific bill at the, you guessed it, ever terrific Club Rockfeedback.
So packed a bill in fact that we miss Team Robespierre, another quietly tipped band to emerge from the Brooklyn conveyor belt. New Warp boys Pivot aren’t for skipping. The Aussie trio will no doubt grow tired of comparrisons to Battles by the year’s end, but with a precisely knocked up and potent blend of electronica and post-rock, they’re one of very few bands capable of matching the task. And while the sci-fi soundtack-sounding title track to May’s In The Blood EP is most recognisable, it’s ‘O Soundtrack My Heart’ (from the Aug. 18 album of the same name) and the trouncing ‘Sweet Memory’ that will beg for and be granted bigger audiences over the coming months.
“I’ve just seen Wild Beasts and they’re the best band I’ve ever seen,” was the verdict from the urinals. And when presumably the voice at the other end asked what this lot sounded like, “I dunno… they’re just beautiful,” was all my new friend could muster. Yet this sums up the Cumbrian quartet unknowingly neatly – a band as completely fantastic as they are completely undefinable. In simple terms – their the most unique pop band in the country at the moment. The playful rhythms, wild falsettos and vocal trading are an unsurprising treat on stage. The finer moments of their just-released debut Limbo - ‘Devil’s Crayon’, ‘His Grinning Skull’ (see below), ‘Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairevoyants’ – are as predictably brilliant.
And so onto Beach House and the grovelling. They were definitely off form the other night, there’s no question now. The mix of lush keys and guitar with Legrand’s swooning vocals are near-perfect and almost indistinct as three separate parts. It all just meanders along as gently as the increasing number of us who have gotten lost in Devotion imagined and hoped it would. Their time on stage is just as regrettably short as last time and it could indeed be the same set list but it’s twice if not three times better. Apology accepted?