Wild Swim/Nadine Shah
Bull And Gate, London
“Go-nads!”. Don’t worry, we haven’t developed Tourette’s, but it seems the guy in front of us has. Oh wait, it’s written on his t-shirt too. And on the merch stand as well. Ah, it’s actually the witty slogan of tonight’s supporting songstress Nadine Shah, but that’s where the light hearted mirth ends as her music is nothing to be laughed at. From the moment she takes a seat at her lofty pew it’s down to business, selecting a more serious approach to wooing the audience as she wails through a short and sombre set of beautifully melancholic anthems for the lovelorn soul. One to keep an eye on we think.
London’s top prognosticators of future cover stars Club Fandango aren’t stopping there tonight though, as they’re also presenting us with a headline set from Oxford’s hotly tipped Wild Swim. By the looks of it they’re as fresh to shaving as they are to our ears and they’re here tonight to celebrate the launch of their debut single. Although they may still be in their teens, it’s instantly clear that this is a young band who’ve spent some time developing their sound (we’re told they got together at just 13), as they intricately pluck their way through opener ‘Bones’.
Frontman Richard Sansom’s hushed vocals form a soothing veil over the agitated arrangements of B-Side ‘Bright Eyes’, whose experimental electronica brings to mind the likes of James Blake and Arthur Russell. And it’s no surprise that they’ve drawn comparisons to Oxford’s much-revered sons Foals as they work their way through a set of intelligent pop which merges their hometown sound with the sultry sways of Wild Beasts in a mesmerizing mix.
Drawing the night to a close with the single they came to launch ‘Echo’, its slowly building layers form a haunting wave which sends a welcome chill through the room and leaves a lasting impression on the hairs of our necks. Sublime.