Maximo Park, The Young Knives, Wild Beasts
Helen Newbery 18/08/2008
The most obvious thing about Leeds' Wild Beasts is the marmite voice of singer Hayden, usually a soaring falsetto, but occasionally swooping through the registers, adding a surprisingly rich texture to their songs. The four-piece also swap vocal duties, as on, for example, the shimmering The Devil's Crayon, which adds a welcome dose of summer sparkle to the evening here tonight. Please Sir is a further highlight in a set which showcases their album Limbo, Panto, and proves that they are by far the most interesting of the bands on show this evening.
After a particularly tight turnover, it's the unenviable task of The Young Knives to follow this. There's a surprising surge to the front from the highly partisan Maximo Park fans as The Young Knives open with the irresistible stomp of Terra Firma. They're a band who clearly play to their strengths, with frequent references to their appearance, particularly the rather incongruous sight of bassist House Of Lords. A set highlight comes in the latter part of their set, in the form of Turn Tail, with its infectious singalong chorus. However, it's the less-than-appropriate Hot Summer which really gets the crowd moving.
For the majority of the audience there is, however, only one band they have come out to see: Maximo Park, playing a one-off show in Edinburgh in the midst of a slew of festival appearances. However, opening with Girls Who Play Guitars, it's clear that something is not quite right: the sound is muddy, and Paul Smith's vocals are indistinct. This impression is confirmed as the band leaves the stage for some fifteen minutes, only to reappear with the same song.
Technical issues continue to plague them, however, in a set whose sound never seems to clear. Nonetheless, the energy of the band remains undiminished, with Smith, in particular, the consummate showman, leaping around in his characteristic manner and whipping up the crowd, most notably during previous single Our Velocity; a standout moment in a set only the committed fan could truly enjoy.