Wild Beasts - Manchester Cathedral, Manchester
Manchester Cathedral is fast becoming the hottest gig venue in the already spoiled-for-choice city. When you first walk in and see the flying buttresses, the magnificently carved alter, the stained glass windows with the saints watching you from the shadows, you think, 'This can't be right.' "Who else here feels guilty?" cherub-voiced Hayden Thorpe asks the crowd as he lifts a glass of red wine in salute. Well, maybe we do feel a bit guilty for desecrating this holy and wondrous monument, soaked in history (Laura Marling informed us at her show here that the back wall was older than Liverpool) but it doesn't stop any of us from having a marvelous time.
When you have two (rather dishy) vocalists who sing like angels, then a cathedral may be the best place for them. Starting off with 'Bed Of Nails' from their rather brilliant album Smother they move on to the gorgeous 'We Still Got The Taste Dancin' On Our Tongues' from 2009's Two Dancers, Thorpe's "ooo's" ringing out in the big cavernous space. A band of few words, the contact was through the music and the band's delight in the audience's response was written all over their grinning faces. You don't need words when you have songs as beautiful as 'The Devil's Crayon' from 2008's Limbo, Panto with Thorpe and Tom Fleming trading off vocals.
The set ended with the wonderful 'Hooting and Howling' from Two Dancers with the band returning on stage to a chorus of cheers and howls from the grateful crowd and performed a three song encore, the creepy 'Lion's Share' from the new album, crowd pleaser 'All The King's Men' (showing off Fleming's impressive vocal range) ending with the magnificent 'End Come Too Soon' the echo and distortions ringing off the cathedrals' walls. It couldn't have been more apt - the end did well and truly come too soon, we would have gladly listened to them all night.
Set list: Bed of Nails, We Still Got The Taste Dancin' On Our Tongues, Albatross, The Devils Crayon, The Fun Powder Plot, Two Dancers Part 2, Deeper, This Land Is Our Lot, Loop The Loop, Two Dancers Part 1, Reach A Bit Further, Hooting and Howling
Encore: The Lion's Share, All The Kings Men, End Come Too Soon