By­gone era of the 70s re­mem­bered

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - MU -

ONE of Bri­tain’s en­dur­ing rock bands is to re­lease a new al­bum and also per­form in the re­gion.

Thun­der have had 18 top 40 sin­gles in the UK and a string of gold and plat­inum al­bums across the world.

And on Fe­bru­ary 16 they will re­lease their first stu­dio al­bum in six years, en­ti­tled Won­der Days.

The al­bum is partly a re­flec­tion of the dreams and de­sires of young men grow­ing up in the 70s. They per­form at Leeds First Di­rect Arena on March 12, with spe­cial guests Reef.

For tick­ets call the box of­fice on 0844 248 1585. IT may be four years since Wild Beasts swapped the colder north­ern climes for the bright lights of London but it seems that Leeds, where the four-piece first flour­ished, re­mains close to their hearts.

Next week the band bring their elec­tronic art rock to Canal Mills in Arm­ley for a spe­cial fes­tive cel­e­bra­tion gig with an ex­ten­sive sup­port­ing cast in­clud­ing East In­dia Youth, Evian Christ, Nathan Fake, Fr­yars and For­est Swords.

Tom Flem­ing, Wild Beasts’ co-vo­cal­ist and bass player, agrees that the show – which rounds off a busy few months tour­ing their fourth al­bum, Present Tense – will be some­thing of a home­com­ing for the band who found their feet in West York­shire after re­lo­cat­ing from the Lake Dis­trict in 2005.

“I think that’s one of the rea­sons why we wanted to put some­thing on in Leeds,” he says. “We missed it a bit on the tour­ing be­cause we’ve kind of been all around and it felt like an itch we hadn’t scratched. The al­bum’s been out a lit­tle while now so rather than just come round and play a show we wanted to put some­thing on. All the guys who are com­ing with us we are re­ally big fans of and I guess it’s our chance to con­tex­tu­alise the more re­cent sound by putting on acts that we re­ally like.”

The night will be “a lit­tle bit of a party”, he says. “It’s a lit­tle bit in­dul­gent for us to take some of our favourite mu­si­cians up to a town we know and love and also – I hope this doesn’t sound pa­tro­n­is­ing – but to take some sort of ad­ven­tur­ous mu­sic up north. Also the Canal Mills venue which wasn’t there when we were around, it seems like a re­ally cool space.”

When Present Tense was re­leased in Fe­bru­ary it be­came Wild Beasts’ high­est chart­ing al­bum to date – reach­ing Num­ber 10 in the UK. Its suc­cess seemed vin­di­ca­tion for the band’s decision to take stock after ex­ten­sively tour­ing its pre­de­ces­sor, Smother, in 2011 and 2012.

“There was never a ques­tion that we weren’t go­ing to make another record, it was just a ques­tion of how we did it, a ques­tion of re­ally feel­ing like it again,” says Flem­ing. “The same way that Smother wasn’t sup­posed to be a real kick away from Two Dancers [the band’s sec­ond al­bum], we needed to do some­thing dif­fer­ent. I think we were very cau­tious of mak­ing another ‘Wild Beasts record’. We had to go away and I guess use the ex­pe­ri­ence we had to de­cide what we were do­ing next – and that took time. It prob­a­bly took more time than we at first ap­pre­ci­ated. We thought it would maybe take a cou­ple of months and it ended up be­ing a year.”

Mu­si­cally, Present Tense sig­nalled a pro­gres­sion for the band. The idea was to “dig deeper into the Talk Talk/ Blue Nile axis of adult pop but also marry it to a more con­tem­po­rary R&B sound”.

“We lis­tened to a lot of hip-hop in­stru­men­tals, am­bi­ent mu­sic as well – older stuff like Brian Eno but also more con­tem­po­rary stuff like Oneo­htrix Point Never

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