Glass Animals

Glass Animals


Hysteria might be the only word I know that comes close to describing the atmosphere as Glass Animals walk onto the stage at Manchester’s Albert Hall. The group of girls that tightly pack around me scream for lead singer Dave Bayley – shouts of “Yes Dave!!” will become as familiar as the thud of drummer Joe Seaward’s bass drum over the course of the night.

Flying into their set with ‘Life Itself’, the pace is set and everyone’s standing up and moving – even in the circle seating. They rattle through tracks from their debut album ZABA, including ‘Black Mambo’ and ‘Hazy’, before the perhaps-Red Hot Chili Peppers inspired ’Poplar St’ resumes their near full play through of second LP How to Be a Human Being.

Each track from How to Be a Human Being is supposed to be about a different character the band met on previous tours and while that makes each one feel distinctly its own, they all stitch together harmoniously to create an incredible body of work that is brought to life so vividly in a live setting.

The absolutely relentless energy of the crowd really drives the whole gig. They’re singing every word back, totally engaged and enthralled from the moment the band step on stage, dancing equally as hard as Bayley and guitarist Drew MacFarlane. This was none more evident than during ‘Youth’ and then into ‘Gooey’, with Bayley coming right to the front of the barrier during the latter, causing a mass surge towards him and throngs of people gazing at him in pure adoration.

One thing that stands out during the evening is how songs that you might consider relatively ‘chill’ to listen to on the studio albums are absolutely not as chill live. Maybe it’s just the Mancunian crowd giving a dreary, wet and windy Saturday night the middle finger or, more likely, it’s their absolute absorption of the near perfect mix of everything Glass Animals exude. They create a sound that’s a potent combination of R’n’B, indie, electronica and even tinges of psychedelia. It’s infectious.

Finishing their set with ‘Agnes’, there are deafening screams of “WE WANT MORE! WE WANT MORE!” reverberating around the Albert Hall that were never going to be ignored and the band return to the stage once more to play out their triumphant set with ‘Pools’ and pineapple promoting ‘Pork Soda’.

Glass Animals are a tight live outfit, perfectly working their way through their songs and taking their crowds in along with them on a magical ride for a night. I can whole heartedly recommend joining them next time around.

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Hannah Barlow

I’m a music lover who enjoys nothing more than sharing my enthusiasm for all kinds of sounds. Manchester born and bred, I work in radio and have an unhealthy appetite for cheese.