Icelandic hipster band returned to Singapore for a full concert, having previously appeared at Laneway 2013. Considering the type of young fans OMAM attracts, the audience were mostly surprisingly laid back, dress-wise, with many fans donning OMAM t-shirts.
There’s something about Death Cab For Cutie’s bookish, melancholic, minor-chord balladry that is inherently divisive. On one hand, it’s cloyingly earnest, unexciting and devoid of swagger. On the other, it’s spoken the truth for two decades to countless people emerging into adulthood, as they lay awake at night overthinking their relationships.
The folks at Symmetry Entertainment are bringing back This Will Destroy You, who were last on our shores in a sold-out show in 2013. The post-rock band is in demand with music supervisors of Hollywood films as well as award ceremonies like the Golden Globes and a TWDY show always promises fun, inspiration and intensity.
The Singapore music scene is crying out for more small to mid-sized venues that can host brilliant artists that do not command the mainstream attention of an Ed Sheeran or a Pheonix. Beep Studios – located in Bukit Merah – operates mainly as a recording studio but has of late, been the location of great shows from Deafheaven, Deap Vally, MONO and last night (8th Nov), Wild Beasts.
The UK band is touring Asia and squeezed Singapore between Bangkok and KL and sounded no worse for the wear and tear. A good-sized crowd did not have to squeeze into Beep Studios but were entertained and thrilled by an excellent performance in fairly intimate settings. That is the beauty of a gig like this – it feels like the band is playing in a large living room!
The music of Wild Beasts (viz. Hayden Thorpe, Ben Little, Chris Talbot & Tom Fleming) provides a fine balance between indie rock and electro-pop with Thorpe, Little and Fleming adept at exchanging instruments so that different musical textures, timbres and approaches might be attained. Drummer Talbot was expert in coming up with intricate patterns that drove the ethereal tunes rhythmically.
The voices of Thorpe and Little (falsetto and baritone respectively) captured the attention of the rapt crowd brilliantly. Songs like “Mecca”, “Daughters” & “A Dog’s Life” highlighted these attributes succinctly and even though the pulse never quite quickened with the band’s chilled out groovy vibes, there was no denying the passion.
Thorpe made a little joke about not leaving the stage for the obligatory call-back (basically, the venue could not accommodate that aspect!) and so remained on stage to deliver the songs that would have been their encore. Which was fine and removed the usual awkwardness about the encore’s artificiality. A lusty “Wanderlust” turned out to be the high point of the gig for me, as the performance concluded. Overall, the perfect venue for a mesmerizing sonic experience.
Thanks to Symmetry Entertainment for making this review possible.
I must confess that out of the all the bands that were slated to play at the last (sadly cancelled) Hostess Club Weekender, the one I was most looking forward to was Wild Beasts. But of course, the good news is that the English band will still be in Singapore tomorrow at Beep Studios.
Wild Beasts released one the best albums of 2014 – the sophisticated collection of groovy tunes known as Present Tense – and surely is one of the most important bands to come out of the UK in the last decade. So, don’t miss the chance to watch them in the intimate settings of Beep Studios.