Wild Cub


Nashville’s Wild Cub come to the Deaf Institute this evening for one of only two gigs in the UK this month. Support for the show comes from VYKTORIA.

The four members of VYKTORIA swagger out onto stage and get stuck straight in to their opening song. Their sound, laden with synth, conjures up thoughts of the late 1980s. If VYKTORIA had been around 25 years ago I’m sure their sound would have slotted nicely into the roster of Factory Records.

Following their second song ‘The Hunt’, frontman David Arthur Jr announces “We’re from Manchester” – I had already guessed as much. They play a total of six songs, finishing with the title track of their upcoming EP Sympathy. I enjoyed the set and they did an excellent job of warming up the room.

Wild Cub open their performance with ‘Shapeless’, which is also the opening track of debut record Youth – an album which has only received it’s UK release this week, despite being released in the US back in January last year. Frontman Keegan DeWitt appears to be unable to stand still, bouncing along with the music and looking very excitable.

‘Blacktide’, a single from last year is the second song of their set. DeWitt’s performance has escalated to aggressively tugging on his collar, but the energy on the stage is drawing the crowd in. With each song, more people are edging forwards and getting involved with the dancing down the front. During ‘Wishing Well’, the fifth song of the set, the last few people still sitting on the fence finally jump off and into the Wild Cub camp.

The set continues to deliver, with DeWitt’s energetic performance adding an extra dimension to the band’s songs. Their biggest hit to date ‘Thunder Clatter’, which featured on a TV advert for Bose last year, is introduced with a bit of flattery. UK audiences “have the best ears” declares DeWitt and getting to play in Manchester “was very special for them”. Manchester was the first UK city Wild Cub ever played, and they’ve “never had a bad show here” we’re told.

With just one song to go we discover there will be no encore, since “they’re silly”. So the last song of the night is ‘Summer Fires / Hidden Spells’. DeWitt spends part of the song in amongst the crowd, and the band’s energy has clearly transferred from the stage as the level of jumping around and dancing increases once more.

I was looking forward to seeing Wild Cub based on enjoying the singles I had heard up to now. I’m delighted to report that their live show is even more enjoyable and I’d love all my Sunday nights to be this much fun.

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Adam Smith

Silent Radio Editor-in-chief. Watching excellently crafted live music is one of the great pleasures I get to enjoy. Having too often seen excellent bands fail to garner the attention I believe they deserve, I'm here to spread the good word of the under-appreciated musical performer. I encourage everyone who is reading this to do the same. Get in touch if you'd like to do that here.