Wild Nothing

Wild Nothing


To the left of me stands an obese, pissed, ageing, fifty-something man exclaiming “we’ve won the cup”, whilst spilling his drink all over the sobbing teenage girls in front of him. To the right stands a rawboned blond-haired middle class student, draped in a baggy coral shirt and an inside-out sheepskin jacket, flailing his hands to sound of averagely shit floaty indie-pop. Why did I bother coming here?

Even on this rainy, cold Sunday night, the constant stream of half-drunk boisterous twenty-somethings, heading to Manchester city centre for a night of dirty dancefloors and drunken despair, gives Manchester an eclectic feeling. A feeling that it’s a city that’s on the go.

We are here to see Wild Nothing, a moniker for what started off as Jack Tatum’s indie/dream pop recording project, which has evolved into a band in its own right. Their supporting act, Her’s, are a two-piece band from Liverpool, consisting of a drum machine, guitarist and bassist, with a George and Lenny via Shoreditch dynamic – a large-framed goofy bassist and shorter, more serious frontman and guitarist. Their sound can be described as a mix of Julian Casablancas’ mumbling vocal delivery, mixed with Mac DeMarco’s guitar tone, rapid pounding bass lines and the odd high pitched yodel for good measure, and although they aren’t my cuppa tea, their take on an already saturated sound of floaty indie-pop is quite refreshing.

However, the same cannot be said for Wild Nothing, whose set is just a monotonous drag of heavily effected guitars and the kind of moody lyrics about lost love you can expect to find scribbled in the back of a misanthropic fifteen year old’s diary.

The only redeeming feature of their set, other than seeing the hilariously dressed keyboard player, who looks like a back alley Rick Wakeman, was the band’s rhythm section, which was consistently solid and sometimes stolid. This is especially noticeable in ‘Only Heather’. The bass and kick drum cut through more than on the recorded version of the song, keeping the song in motion, giving it more of a push – something that was lacking when they were absent.

The mere fact that while I walk away from the venue not a single song played that night was stuck in my head shows the extent of the problem. This band, like many other bands in the same genre, just churn out the same record over and over, making their live sets not only boring, but painful at times.

The saturation of indie/dream-pop bands on the market, all of which churn out the same shit, is getting dire. Manchester’s indie scene needs a new sound, before a new wave of students flock this bustling metropolis to live out the indie dream of cheap drugs, left wing politics and meaningful music…the latter of which is currently lacking.

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