I was given the hard task of trying to capture in words—in order to impress upon you readers—the exuberance of Wild Child’s performance at Belfast Empire last Thursday.
The setting is not what you would expect from a normal concert. One, the decor reminds me of a little opera theatre. Also, I had a chance to sit in an actual chair for the entire night. The entire setting felt almost bizarre but it would be in bad grace to complain about not having to stand on tip-toe and pushing against crowds of sweaty strangers. Therefore, I call this a blessing.
Onwards to the actual show! The stage was minuscule compared to the amount of personality (and instruments) showcased that night. Wild Child’s eccentric choice of musical instruments lends them a distinctive style that is prevalent throughout their entire performance, making the whole set almost burst at the seams with talent. There is just something special about a band that refuses to be confined by performance norms. Who is to say that a cello is outlandish or a ukulele too small? Definitely not me!
The best part was never knowing what to expect. Some of the members had to switch instruments midway during most of the songs, thus there was always a fluidity in the playing style. At one point, the pianist (Matt Bradshaw) had to play the trumpet with one hand and the keyboard with the other. Personally, the highlight of the night happened when my eyes caught the glimmer of metal flashing from between his fingers during ‘Someone Else’. Lo’ and behold! The harmonica appeared. (As you can tell, I was not kidding about the instruments. I was half-hoping that they were hiding more instruments behind the curtains!)
To give credit where it is due, the vocalists Alexander Beggins and Kelsey Wilson admirably held their own against the entire instrumental assemble and their voices blended together perfectly.
The whole band also good-naturedly played “Silly Things” again upon request after a lovely couple, who drove five hours to see them, had missed it the first time around. The band’s condition for playing the song again was that the couple had to get up and dance. Some of the audience was so caught up in the moment that a few decided to join the slow dancing right at the bottom of the stage. That moment was simply magical and was such a treat to be a part of.
Fans would be happy to know that Wild Child are planning on recording a new album soon, so that is something to look forward to. Please do give this band a listen and be prepared for your jaws to drop.