“Play a hit!”
“We don’t have one,” joked Beak> in response to a heckler part-way through their fantastic sell-out show at Brudenell Social Club. Despite the self-deprecation, Beak> are a talented trio made up of Billy Fuller who has worked alongside Massive Attack and Robert Plant, Geoff Barrow who helped form and produce Portishead, and William Young, a classically trained pianist who created the solo project Moon Gangs. From their impressive musical backgrounds, it is unsurprising that Beak> graced Leeds with an impressive set.
Support for the evening came from the brilliantly weird Snapped Ankles. Immersed in the audience and looking like something from The Mighty Boosh, the band were clad in what could be described as yeti costumes, including some deer horns and a glowing red eye. The crowd was quite literally hypnotised by the psychedelic beat played on specially crafted wooden instruments and the performance was more akin to a cult ceremony than a gig.
The surreal set from Snapped Ankles provided the perfect warm up to Beak> who came onstage amidst some trippy lights “bought from Ebay”. Beak> opened with the tight bass and synth of ‘The Brazillian’ followed by their alternative dance hit ‘Brean Down’, the first two tracks from their recently released album >>>.
Beak>’s performance was scattered with comic anecdotes and banter between band members. Most of these were targeted at their younger keyboard player, William Young, who was ridiculed throughout the evening for being a middle-class Londoner. It was a pleasant surprise to go to a gig where the banter between the set is unexpectedly funny, even if the band are telling the audience about a really nice curry they ate.
Beak> admitted that there wasn’t any point in leaving the stage for an encore as it is a bit “showbiz” so stated that their last song would be ‘When we Fall’, but that they would also stay on stage and play a few more songs after that. Beak> then finished their set with ‘Blagdon Lake’ from their 2009 debut album, taking the audience back to the band’s humble beginnings as an improvised project.
It was refreshing to go to a sold-out gig where the band is incredibly talented but are modest and down to earth. Beak> are coming back to the UK in February next year to play shows in both Manchester and London and I would recommend buying tickets soon as they are sure to sell out fast.
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