Wild Nothing at Leaf (23 Feb ’17)

After last time’s gig of three pretty unknown-to-me bands, this was a case of repeat exposure to a great double bill of Wild Nothing and Her’s at Leaf, promoted by the ever excellent Harvest Sun.

Ticket

Ticket

The day had been a windy one, thanks to Storm Doris, but the weather had fortunately calmed down significantly by the evening. One consequence, however, was that my planned train was cancelled and the next one delayed, so I had to kill a little time with a swift pint of Liverpool Organic’s Bramling Cross at Stamps Too before heading into town.

I went straight from the station to the venue in the forlorn hope of being able to nab a comfy seat from which to watch Her’s, like I had on the previous occasion I had seen them at the same venue, when they were supporting Meilyr Jones, as reviewed here.

The place was already quite full by the time they came on stage, with the most notable change being that they had both had quite severe haircuts. This time around, it was singer/guitarist Stephen Fitzpatrick from Barrow-in-Furness whose trousers didn’t reach his shoes (which also seemed to be held up by a piece of string!).

Continuity was maintained, however, with the presence of a tribute to Pierce Brosnan at the front of the stage.

They kicked off with the first song they ever put out into the world, Dorothy, with its Felt meets The Durutti Column guitar sound and furious ZTT-influenced bass from the Norwegian Audun Laading. You can still hear prime 80’s 4AD bands in their music as well.

Her's

Her’s (with Pierce Brosnan)

After Marcel, they dedicated a song to Stephen’s grandma Doris that mixed together rock ‘n’ roll and doo wop influences, with a touch of Dion. Like pretty much all of their songs, it features a deep voice on the verses, enlivened by some falsetto yodelling.

They suffered from a few false starts due to laptop issues, which they used for the backing drum beats, but that didn’t really detract from the music.

A new song was laid back and funky, but still sounded quite 1980’s. It was epic but slightly unfocused.

After What Once Was, a bass solo introduced their final song, with it being great to see them again, a feeling clearly shared by much of the audience.

A trip to the loo was followed by a £4.50 pint of Charlie WellsTriple Hopped IPA on draught that was perfectly servicable.

In the studio, Wild Nothing are effectively Jack Tatum, but live he is (fortunately) joined by several other musicians –  guitarist Nathan Goodman, Jeff Haley on bass, plus others on keyboards and drums.

They kicked off with the title track from 2012’s sophomore album Nocturne, an album they actually plundered for five songs in this set, alongside the same number from last year’s Life Of Pause, together with three from 2010 debut Gemini.

Wild Nothing

Wild Nothing

Summer Holiday from Gemini made me think of a cross between The Chills and 80’s heavier hitters like Big Country, with the overall sound of the set (and band, I guess) being shoegaze meets jangle pop with some 80’s rock beef behind it all.

Highlights of their set for me were Nocturne’s Disappear Always and Shadow, as well as TV Queen from last year’s record.

I was actually stood next to Stephen from Her’s for several songs, with Tatum giving a shout out to the support act just before playing their most Her’s-esque number, Paradise off Nocturne.

After the debut album’s title track they went off, but returned pretty much straight away for a one-song encore, the brooding but explosive To Know You from Life Of Pause, which gave off very subtle Pere Ubu 30 Seconds Over Tokyo hints.

It was great to see Wild Nothing (and Her’s) again, partly because it made me dig out their three albums (plus two fairly lengthy ep’s) in advance of the gig, reminding myself of how much I enjoy them.

I wouldn’t put them in the very top echelons of bands I love, but they’re certainly very enjoyable, and I and the rest of the crowd was well entertained.

Tonight’s t-shirt

I decided to wear my The Pale Fountains tee, for no especially good reason, although it was a Christmas gift that I had yet to break out, and there’s certainly something in common between them and both acts playing. I didn’t spot any other band t-shirts, with the weather (and lack of cloakroom) meaning most people were wrapped up in coats. However, bizarrely, I did spot a Louis Theroux tee.

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Playlist

Here is a lot of the music from the night on Spotify:

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