If you’d not been paying attention, it would be reasonable to assume that Kendal quartet Wild Beasts had become complicit in their role as fashioners of the kind of quirky synth-pop found on albums Smother and Present Tense, the days when they’d open a song by hollering “casual sex with a hard up thug shifting good time drugs” long behind them.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Earlier this year they dropped their brazen, ballsy fifth album Boy King. Filled to the brim with chunky riffs, stadium-sized production and pure filth, this is the first time their name isn’t oxymoronic in nearly a decade, perhaps since their unhinged debut Limbo Panto. Wild Beasts have always specialised in poeticising primal urges, but the flowery, mischievous imagery that once peppered their songs has been replaced with something more direct and vulgar.
They’re bringing this newfound swagger to Manchester Academy on Sunday. Expect it to be more raucous, raunchier and probably more ludicrous than their last few outings in the city. The Academy seems like a fairly appropriate venue for such debauchery, especially when compared to the church venues they’ve played on their last couple of tours. That said, the idea of the line “You can stuff your chastity, your wait and see, your not ready” ringing out around the Cathedral is certainly an amusing one.
It won’t all be virgin killers with no regret (an actual lyric from Boy King’s second track ‘Tough Guy’) though. The album frequently brings up issues around masculinity and gender identity more widely, and they will no doubt dip into their now rather large back catalogue for something a little lighter. There is however a serious risk of leather jackets making an appearance. Some wearing of shades indoors may even occur. You have been warned!
Support comes from Manchester’s very own Money, as well as London-based duo Ardyn. Get there early to avoid missing out.
Wild Beasts are playing:
Glasgow, QMunion (8/11)
Manchester, Academy (9/11)
Cambridge, The Junction (10/11)
Tickets are available at wild-beasts.co.uk. Tickets for the Manchester show are very reasonably priced at £17.60.
You can buy Boy King from wildbeasts.dominomart.com