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Review: Wildbirds & Peacedrums at The Lexington

Review: Wildbirds & Peacedrums at The Lexington

Lucky number 11. The eleventh time I’ve seen this band, and they still hold their crown as my favourite live band. 100% awesome 100% of the time. The Swedish duo have made an album this year which features a choir… their last London show had the choir in tow, and their next one (November at Union Chapel) will also feature the choir, so this was a ‘special’ ‘normal’ show with just the pair of them, Mariam and Andreas. I’m firmly of the belief that every Wildbirds show from here on will be very special. In fact, I’m pretty sure all the times I’ve seen them have felt very special. They’re just an incredible band; completely unique.

They played a mixture of new songs as well as some older ones too. Favourites ‘There Is No Light’ and ‘Places’ made their way into the set, as well as ‘the first song they ever wrote’ (featuring the ‘wildbird’ lyric that I guess they take their name from) ‘The Window’. Mariam’s voice is incredible. She came away from the mic, right to the front of the stage and everyone listened intently. Incredible.

Secondly, Mariam is such a charismatic frontwoman; while she sings she looks completely possessed. She’s SO into the music. A perfect illustration of how into it she is came last night, when during ‘The Drop’, a beautifully sad, tender song, a sound tech managed to crawl onto the stage and pull out the wrong mic cable. Mariam stopped abruptly and looked as though she had been woken from a dream; genuinely shocked. She put her hand on her heart and looked at Andreas and commented on it, looking genuinely saddened. Everyone just watched in silence. She seemed really shaken! She took a moment to compose herself and then started the song again, with an encouraging cheer and applause from the crowd. I love that she plays with so much passion and energy and really pours her emotion into her performance, it’s a beautiful thing.

They did ‘Liar/Lion’ also from ‘The Snake’ and more newer ones like the brilliant ‘Wave’. Thirdly, Mariam is a multi tasking supremo. Working bass pedals, playing steel drum and singing all at once is no easy task and she does it so brilliantly.

Andreas is just one of the most incredible drummers I’ve ever seen live. So much texture and interesting little parts to his pieces. Such an animated drummer too. Really, completely phenomenal. Together, they’re stunning. They feed off each other’s energy and it’s really intense.

Soon came time for my favourite… ‘My Heart’!!!!! Yes. It was brilliant. Mariam did that pause that lasts about 1 second but feels like about a year. It’s the best.

I love this band completely. They always manage to impress me. Love them.

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Wildbirds & Peacedrums

Wildbirds & Peacedrums

It’s no secret that I think Wildbirds & Peacedrums are one of the most brilliant bands around today. Their show at The Social was my favourite live performance of 2009, and unless I end up seeing something new that completely blows my mind, their show at The Bishopsgate Institute will remain my favourite live performance of 2010.

They are my favourite live act.

If you are new to Wildbirds & Peacedrums, they are Mariam & Andreas; husband and wife duo from Sweden. Andreas drums, and Mariam plays steel drum, shakes stuff, and sings. Hear their songs here.

What sets Wildbirds apart from other acts that I adore completely, and love to see over and over, is that you never know what to expect from Wildbirds & Peacedrums. I don’t believe they’ll ever stop trying to push the boundaries of their musical creativity. They’re a completely unique and exciting duo- there’s nothing like what they do.

Their performances are full of soul, passion and energy. You can tell that they feed off each other and love performing together. Andreas’ intuitive drumming marries perfectly with Mariam’s exotic, tribal vocals. Her voice is just something spectacular. She uses it like a fine instrument. It’s like a cave full of hundreds of different caverns you could dive into.

I’ve seen them perform ten times now, and there’s always very little/no stage banter. Mariam only ever addresses the crowd to thank them, and you can tell it’s completely genuine; the gratitude is coming straight from her heart. Andreas never says anything but he always grins, puts his hands together and takes a bow. They’re a couple you want to see succeed.

The first time I saw them play in a venue, my heart was literally racing. Literally. I left the show and I felt so hugely excited by what I had just seen. I went on to see them a few more times and their performances were just as magnetic. Not ones to stick to a formula, Mariam and Andreas employed the use of a twenty piece drum circle for a show in June of last year. This year, I saw them perform with a choir. New songs, and old songs re-arranged to included the extra Voices.

This year they released two EPs- ‘Iris’ and ‘Retina’, put together they form ‘Rivers’. You need to hear it. The two albums that came before are two of my favourite albums ever. If you’ve never seen Wildbirds & Peacedrums: do it! Their Bishopsgate show in May sold out. Hurrah for Wildbirds & Peacedrums.

Listen to them here.

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Peeling Off The Layers / The Well

‘Peeling Off The Layers’ is a brilliant song from Wildbirds & Peacedrum’s recent ‘Retina EP’. I love the way it’s recorded- Mariam sounds like she’s singing in a big spacious room, and then like she’s singing right besides you, right into your ear. You have to hear this song! You can buy this EP from Leaf.

The next EP is called ‘Iris’ and is out in a few weeks. Sign up to the mailing list to get ‘The Well’. It has some amazing steel drum that sounds a bit like how the inside of my head sounds when I get an idea. I think.

Wildbirds are a stunning live act who are constantly coming up with new ways to make their live set refreshing and interesting. They’re one of the best live bands performing today, and their set at The Social is still the most exciting  live set I’ve ever seen- and all the following times I’ve seen them have been amazing. Such a brilliant band.

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Review: Wildbirds & Peacedrums at Bishopsgate

Wildbirds & Peacedrums at the Bishopsgate Institute

WILDBIRDS & PEACEDRUMS! YES! Do you remember how much I love them? Type ‘Wildbirds & Peacedrums’ into my search box on my blog and see. Go on. They are probably my favourite live band; their performances are so exciting and really quite incredible.

I caught the band playing nine times last year, the last of which was at End of the Road Festival in September. Absence made the heart grow stronger, and if anything, the eight months away from seeing this wonderful band made me appreciate this performance even more.

The duo clearly felt refreshed and energised. They are releasing an album later this year, a combination of EPs. The first of which, ‘Retina’, is out now. What I love about Wildbirds, is that they are constantly evolving and improving; coming up with innovative new ideas to make their shows even more stunning. For example, last year they played a show with a twenty piece drum circle. For this particular show, they were joined by a choir.

They played mostly new songs, and the choir was stunning. From ‘The Snake’ they played ‘Places’, which made me swoon, and ‘Great Lines’- which, with the choir, sounded epic. I had never heard them do that song before, and it was always one I had hoped to hear.

The choir was half male, half female, and the duality sounded incredible-particularly on ‘Fight For Me’. Between the choir, Andreas and Mariam, there was so much going on… it was like a feast. Mariam was waving her hands around and singing straight from her heart- her voice is amazing. Andreas is a brilliant drummer and everything he plays has so much texture and melody.

So, Wildbirds have a song called ‘My Heart’, which is quite possibly my favourite live song ever. And alas, no ‘My Heart’ in the main set. I figured they would play an old song if they did return for an encore. I never cheered and wooped so much in my life; I wanted them to come back so badly. And they did! YES! I got very excited.

The choir joined them and Andreas sat down at his drum kit. I have heard the song so many times.. I seem to remember I’ve spent over a solid 24 hours of my life listening to the song in total. It only took less than the first second of the song before I realised they were playing ‘My Heart’. YES! YES! I WAS SO HAPPY! HURRAY!

BEST ‘MY HEART’ EVER! Geez. I can’t articulate how beautiful a moment it was. I don’t think there has been any gig moment this year where I’ve been as excited as that. I jumped up of down in joy. It’s such an amazing song, and we got to sing a long with Mariam. The crowd were wonderful! The venue was a 500 person capacity town hall type place- completely sold out! They’ve come such a long way since when I saw them at The Social. We sang a long to the whole ‘Don’t run! Cos you see I’m lost without your rhythm!’ part and the choir sang at the end and it gave me chills. It was perfect. I loved it so much.

My friend took a video, watch it here. It’s pretty exciting- so brace yourself.

Everyone was so swoony, we cheered and cheered and cheered and Andreas and Mariam came back to take a bow. They headed off stage but the crowd clapped and screamed and they stopped walking away, and turned around and came back. They played ‘The Way Things Go’ from their first album and it was wonderful.

I love that band so much. Go see them live.

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Wildbirds & Peacedrums- Bleed Like….

As you can see from the below posts, I have been to a lot of gigs this week. I saw Jeff Lewis yesterday, and perhaps best of all, ever, I’m seeing Wildbirds & Peacedrums later! They are playing with a choir at The Bishopsgate Institute. I really think you would be crazy to miss this gig.

Last year they just completely blew me away with what a phenomenal live show they put on; so much energy and excitement. Here is a new cool trippy video for ‘Bleed Like There Was No Other Flood’ from their latest EP. Check out the choir! Yeah!

What a great band. An unmissable gig. I hope we get some ‘My Heart’/'Today/Tomorrow’/'There Is No Light’ action with the choir too. I AM SO EXCITED! YES YES YES!

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