Wildbirds & Peacedrums, The Luminaire, Kilburn, London, 5/06/2008


Posted on Jun 10th 2008 12:40 am

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Urban Fauna: Wildbirds & Peacedrums

Swedish ensemble Mariam Wallentin and Andreas Werliin, whose debut album, Heatcore, was recently released outside of their homeland by Leaf, graced Kilburn’s Luminaire for a somewhat short but perfectly formed headlining set.

First to take to the stage was London-based Banjo Or Freakout, who has gained a bit of a reputation in recent months with the tracks posted on the act’s MySpace page and was featured on Drowned In Sound’s artists to look out for. Relying on a mix of folk textures, noise and electronics very reminiscent of early Animal Collective, Banjo Or Freakout opted for a much heavier textured treated electric guitar drapes in which Natalizia’s vocals, sung through two different microphones, one of them vastly reverbed, appeared, at most times, drowned, adding to the Animal Collective clear influences some My Bloody Valentines/Seefeel brushes. While the majority of the songs seemed to fit the treatment, the execution felt at times sketchy and the vocals, when at their most audible, were somewhat hit and miss, especially on one particular song. Despite this, Banjo Or Freakout’s performance showed some promising moments and should soon become a familiar name on the UK scene.

Brother and sister Joe Giddeon & The Shark presented a resolutely more rock-based set. With Giddeon on guitar and, occasionally bass, and his sister on drums, piano and bass, the greasy blues and rock of the outfit sounded slightly out of place with the rest of the line up. Despite being hampered by a string of technical problems, the first half of the set proved much sharper and upbeat than the second half, which developed into a much slicker set, yet the pair seemed to loose at least part of the audience as they descended into much more sombre and gloomy grounds.

Wildbirds & Peacedrums’ debut album, Heatcore, was originally released on Swedish imprint Found You Recordings last year and was consequently licensed by Leaf and re-released earlier this spring as the pair were gearing up for the release of their follow-up album, The Snake, currently still only available in Sweden. Wildbirds & Peacedrums operate on a diet of drums and vocals, with the occasional brushes of zither. The pair opened with two songs taken from their latest offering, showing an increase in nuances between quiet moments and visceral tribal eruptions, before focusing entirely on songs lifted from Heatcore, dominated by a stunning rendition of I Can’t Tell In His Eyes, before the pair wrapped up their all too short set with a new song as an encore. While Heatcore showcased the band’s interesting approach and the elegance of their songs, there is an undeniable mix of fragility and energy totally unique to their stage performance which gives their music an entirely different dimension. Wildbirds & Peacedrums are a truly original and are set to continue to fascinate with their minimal leftfield and organic pop music, and their live incarnation gives the opportunity to appreciate it in all its flamboyance.

Wildbirds & Peacedrums | Banjo Or Freakout (MySpace) | Joe Giddeon & The Shark (MySpace) | The Leaf Label

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