The boys were playing the 10th and final date in August for this part of the Revive Live Tour for their new album, Raw Data Feel. The gig had sold out a long time in advance, so we were quietly anticipating a fantastic night! The band from Manchester had released their sixth album back in May, but the majority of people there were hoping they’d be playing their hits from their back catalogue.
The night kicked off with a set from Hayden Thorpe, who had originally been the frontman for Wild Beasts, before embarking on his solo career. I had never heard him before but was blown away by the quality of his voice, accompanied by his expert guitar playing and piano work. His melodic voice captivated the audience from the very first note, getting the crowd warmed up for what lay ahead. His short set consisted of songs from both of his albums, but the quality of his performance made you wish that he had been given longer! He spoke very warmly about the tour that he had been on with EE and it genuinely came across that they had loved touring together, maybe with the exception of dubious Eastern European spirits in exchange for Kendal mint cake from his home town! He brought his set to a close which was followed by rapturous applause, which left a short pause until the headliners were due to take the stage.
The band burst onto the stage to a massive cheer from the crowd, who had been waiting for them to appear. They went straight into Teletype from their current album, with the crowd joining in with the lyrics as if they had been singing it for years. The crowd continued singing along when the boys from Manchester went seamlessly into their second song, Can’t Do, from their 2017 album. Already, there was such a buzz and energy from the band as well as the audience, who had been eagerly awaiting them to fill the stage, that you could already feel that it was going to be an amazing night! They followed this with Hex, again from the latest album, which was played with such passion and feeling, that you couldn’t help but get caught up in the almost Ska-esque parts of the song. The crowd were loving every minute of it, even though we were only three songs in!
The band took their first breath for the night so far to welcome the crowd to the gig and to thank everyone for making the journey to see them. Again, this was met with rapturous applause and cheers, as if the crowd needed any more reason to show their appreciation! Without warning, “Dinosaurs” flooded the room, which notched up the cheers and applause another level! This was followed up with Metroland Is Burning, Jennifer and Kevin’s Car which brough a slightly softer and more relaxed moment for the evening. The crowd were playing their part amazingly, adding another few members of the band to the setup for the evening!
The band took the crowd through a few more from the current album, before heading back to their previous work, much to the delight of the crowd. Kemosabe and Night Of The Long Knives punctuated songs from the current album, with everyone in the crowd and on the stage giving it their all. I have been to a number of gigs over the summer, but the energy that Jonathan Higgs was putting into this one was evident, as he was sweating profusely, which was matched by the crowd that he had been whipping up into a frenzy for the entire gig. Proceedings were broughtdown slightly with Bad Friday, but the energy came back instantly with Cough Cough, with the whole audience playing their part magnificently. The penultimate song of the set went down a treat, before they launched into another from their latest album (I Want A Love Like This) to close the main part of their performance. The band thanked the crowd, saying that they had been to many venues on their tour, but the smaller gigs like this were where they really loved playing, which was most certainly the case here.
Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait long for the encore, which began with Violent Sun, before exploding into one of the songs that everyone there had been waiting to hear; “Take Me To The Distant Past” was all that you could hear from the speakers at the front, as well as the crowd sending it straight back at them! It was hard to tell who was enjoying this more, as the band looked to be having a wonderful on stage, feeding off the excitement of everyone in front of them. The band then wrapped things up with No Reptiles, again with the crowd all singing at the top of their lungs. There was an amazing vibe going through the entirety of the final song, which brought shivers through my back and down my legs, as the band and crowd joined together to make a moment that would stand out over the whole of the night. It was breathtaking!
I was absolutely blown away by this band from start to finish, with my only regret being that I haven’t seen them more. You could see the effort and passion that the band were putting into the concert, which made it just another level above what I was expecting from the evening. The intensity of the gig was magnified by the intimacy of the Wedgewood Rooms, but you cannot take anything away from the band themselves. If you get the chance to go and see them, you must!
Photos: Jon Gray