Song, by Toad

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The Great Escape 2013: Glass Animals

glassanimals Glass Animals were one of the bands I was most looking forward to seeing in Brighton. I first wrote about them years ago, when there was no more than a couple of songs on their MySpace page (yes, that long ago), but they’ve been distinctly slow-moving since then. An EP was digitally released a year or so ago, but they were so quite overall that I have to confess, I thought they were just one of those bands which was slowly giving up on the idea of being a band at all.

Not so, it seems, and I was genuinely surprised to see them on the bill at The Great Escape this year, and even more so to hear whispers that they have signed to a really rather serious record label. They play what I have previously described as muffled disco, and a friend of mine suggested that it’s possible the fact that they sound a little like Alt-J had something to do with the label’s interest in a band who’s relatively unprolific and low-profile habits might otherwise dissuade A&R types.

I have never heard Alt-J so I have no idea if this rather offhand observation has any merit, but I have to say that it sounds depressingly like classic A&R behaviour, despite the fact that I can really only think The Lumineers who have made anyone all that much money recently by being a bit like someone else.

In any case, that doesn’t matter to me, as I haven’t heard any Alt-J anyway, and in any case the reason I was excited to see these guys is because I really like their recorded material, so I was really curious to hear what it sounded like live. It was, sadly, a bit disappointing, however. What makes them exciting to me in recorded form – the slow pace and muffled beats – just seemed to prevent the music generating any real energy live.

It’s possible I was in the wrong frame of mind, and it’s possible they aren’t all that practised as a live band, as I haven’t seen much evidence of them being out and about that much – although I could be totally wrong about that. Either way, despite being very specifically excited to see these guys in the flesh, I have to confess this didn’t grab me as much as I had hoped it might. It wasn’t bad, by any means, it was good. I just wasn’t thrilled, which is a shame.

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