Nocturne was one of my favourite albums of last year, and is certainly my favourite jangly-American-indie album of 2013. I only heard it in about October, so for such a summer-y album the climate at the time felt a bit at odds with the tunes within, but I fell hard for it, and rinsed it to near death, clinging on to memories of that one sunny day we had in July. ‘Paradise’ has quickly become one of my all time favourite songs; it’s just so perfect, so I was pretty excited to hear it in all its live glory tonight.

I arrive quite close to the start time of the set, and am quite surprised at the low attendance. I’ve never been to anything but a packed out show at Sound Control, with sweat dripping off the walls as the place becomes a furnace of body heat, but tonight I can just wander straight down to the front of the hall without having to shove past anyone at all. I’d say it’s about two thirds full, but even that might be pushing it, which is a real shame as the tunes from ‘Nocturne’ and ‘Gemini’ deserve a wider audience (Nocturne is twice the album that the similar Vampire Weekend’s ‘Contra’ is).

Maybe it’s the lack of a vibe in the room that affects Wild Nothing, but they just don’t do it for me at all tonight. They walk on stage without so much as a hello, looking like they’ve just stepped off the tour bus in their woolly hats (it might not be a furnace tonight, but it’s not exactly nippy), and launch into ‘Shadows’, the opening song from Nocturne. It’s a promising start, the glorious guitars shimmering through the dark, and Jack Tatum’s wonderfully hazy vocals in the mix almost like another instrument. But that’s nearly as exciting as it gets. Songs from ‘Gemini’ fill the next few slots on the setlist, and although on record they sound brilliant, here they kind of all merge into one. A similar fate awaits the songs from their second album, as ‘Only Heather’ and ‘Nocturne’, although nice enough, blend into one with no dynamic changes at all.

‘Paradise’ is released mid set, and it’s absolutely beautiful, it’s that good it even threatens to lift the whole set and breathe some life into the gig. Unfortunately, it’s a momentary lift, as we’re straight back into the pleasant but slightly boring album tracks like ‘This Chain Won’t Break’, which again suffers from a lack of dynamics – on the album it’s a highlight.

Perhaps they had an off night, perhaps it was the lack of buzz in the room, but I couldn’t help but walk away from this gig slightly disappointed. Maybe I had expected too much, and maybe I’d put too much onus on an album I love to sound amazing live. Whatever the reason though, Wild Nothing will need to up their game before festival season if they are to win new fans this summer. They have the perfect album to do so, they just need to make it blossom live.