Wild Nothing: Deaf Institute, Manchester

On a rainy Sunday evening in Manchester, the Liverpool duo Her’s are the opening act. A comedic and charismatic pair with vocals reminiscent of Kurt Vile and guitar effects similar to Mac DeMarco. They are upbeat and playful with dance moves I would kill for. They warm up the crowd dedicating the best song of the set, ‘What Once Was’, to Susan Boyle.

The sold out venue Deaf Institute is rammed full of eager Wild Nothing fans. The five piece are calm and collected throughout their dream-pop performance. Frontman and founder Jack Tatum says little between thanking Manchester and recalling that years ago Deaf Institute was their first show in the city. Cool beanie-topped Tatum bops his neck in time with the driving bassline of ‘Nocturne’, opening with the title track of their 2012 album. Manchester is an apt city for the band to perform as they form an American twist on Stone Roses.

‘Lady Blue’ is the first track played from 2016’s “Life of Pause” which breaks down to sporadic sounds and launches back into a straightforward outro led by a walking keyboard melody. They are chilled; building intensity within the songs by layering simple hooks with ambient effects. Johnson and Haley solidify the core mirroring the drums and bass inviting all heads and shoulders in the room to swoon in perfect time. Their third song is another from “Nocturne”, ‘Only Heather’ – the backing vocals are the essence of the track empowering the intricate wall of sound Wild Nothing have carefully built.

Aussie Johnson banters with a local fan from the kit, ‘thanks for coming out on a Sunday, I assume you all have work in the morning’. Further utterances relating to Rugby are lost on the likes of me and swiftly moving on from such hilarity Wild Nothing continue with their most recent material echoing Beatles harmonies and guitar parts as sexually charged as Connan Mockasin. ‘Alien’ projects Kallman as he creates extraterrestrial chords on the keyboards. The lyrics are masked in the effects laid on thick in all songs but I capture ‘You’re so pretty / Where did you come from?’ and slip into another realm with the rest of the audience.

The crowd seem most excited by Tatum announcing to play ‘old old songs’. We are taken back to 2010 in the days of Gemini refreshing our ears. There are flashing small red lights which do little to complement the music compared to the massive disco ball spinning with intermittent white light bouncing off it almost as mesmerising as the performance. Goodman’s guitar effects alter nearer the end of the set elevating the constant flow. I recollect more English influences haunting their sound in the next tracks with elements of The Cure. Tatum turns to his band throughout the gig as they blend so smoothly together.

Cheered back on stage Wild Nothing conclude with a heavy one track encore leaving their devotees floating in the clouds. After an hour Wild Nothing’s sound can grow tiresome for the audience in their dreamworld but they’ve certainly nailed their staple sound through their effects, intricate hooks and unmistakeable vocals.

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