Wild Nothing Enchant Belgrave, 13.02.19

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Wild Nothing proved themselves to be a late-2000s dream pop outfit who have stood the test of time in their triumphant return to Leeds.

Jack Tatum and Co. took to the stage at the music lover’s sanctuary, Belgrave Music Hall, greeted by a mass of eagerly waiting die-hards of all ages. Veterans of the indie community may argue that Wild Nothing’s time has long since gone after the excitement of Diiv’s Oshin, Beach Fossils’ Clash the Truth and, of course, Nocturne from our band in question, died down a few years ago. Adding further to this are growing frustrations with contexts like Zachary Cole Smith’s inconsistencies with album releases due to drug battles. This may have even been an opinion I had held myself over the past year, as the numerous carbon-copies of these dream pop giants made the entire genre feel so exhausted and even somewhat nauseating. 

Any comeback album from these three 21st-century, transatlantic dream pop giants since the initial craze has been worthy of a listen, but overall the genre had become rather uninteresting. Nonetheless, as a long-time fan of Wild Nothing, I could not resist but to take this rare opportunity to see them in a live setting. 

It would be incorrect to get into the main ‘meat’ of this review by saying something like “I was pleasantly surprised” because that is not entirely true. Wild Nothing have made me very aware of their talent with every release, and I think their musical style makes them somewhat exempt from falling into the wishy-washy black hole of reverb guitar music that the present day has brought. The extent of my impress with the band comes from the gig as a whole and how it reassured me that this genre need not be set aside just yet. 

Opening with the grooving ‘Nocturne’, from the aforementioned album of that name, the crowd was instantly hit with rays of nostalgia, cups of overpriced beer oscillating in all the hands of the post-teen slow-dancers. Their set featured a perfect balance of old and new music, ensuring as many people could go home contently humming their personal favourites; singalongs like ‘Summer Holiday’ and psychedelic odysseys like ‘A Dancing Shell’, the latter keeping things interesting with its luxurious saxophone solos. 

Technical blips with guitars were resolved rather seamlessly and met with support from the front to the back. While looking around at all the mesmerised people – as young as 18 and as old as 50 – the entire gig proved to be rather symbolic of how Wild Nothing have been able to stay relevant and have overcome the various struggles with the copycats and the new fads, nearly ten years on from their debut Gemini. They rounded things up with indie classic ‘Shadow’ to everyone’s gratitude that they could live their bedroom floorfillers from the good old days. 

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