TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE
WILD CHILD, HOXTON SQUARE BAR & KITCHEN, 11 NOVEMBER
THEIR first London gig, part of their first European tour in the intimate environs of great little Shoreditch venue Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen was an enchanting introduction to the sounds of Austin outfit, Wild Child.
The music? Well, it’s hard to define (no bad thing in itself), but throw in words like indie-pop, folk (they have a banjo anyway), Americana and even rock and you’re getting close. Yet since their 2010 debut Pillow Talk, they have managed to evade categorization.
What’s interesting is the scope of the songs you heard in one set – from moving acoustic numbers to funny little ditties to full-out stomping anthems. One song has you thinking yes, they’re playfully old-timey, the next they’re offering up a dose of effervescent pop. Seek out the numbers like the hard-hitting gypsy-style duet The Tale of You and Me, Crazy Bird and The Runaround, and you’ll get an idea.
The dynamic between the two lead vocalists and chief songwriters – Alexander Beggins and Kelsey Wilson – is palpable, too. Both are clearly in love with what they do, and the fun they have performing together is infectious and when it happens, the intertwining of the girl/boy vocal works beautifully.
Their wide-eyed American-accented enthusiasm on the night was, rather than irritating, quite beguiling. Most songs were punctuated by blonde vocalist and violinist Kelsey’s exclamations of ‘Wow, this is incredible’ as she reminded us this was the first time the band had been outside of America.
Wearing a home-made crown when she first came on-stage, she said, “That girl (pointing to a girl in the crowd) made me this. Isn’t that amazing? SHE MADE ME A CROWN. I love you!” It made me smile, anyway.
I didn’t know Wild Child before seeing them, but they’ve got me quietly hooked. Next time they hit London town I’m pretty sure they’ll have done the same to a whole new horde of fans – lovers of heartfelt, adventurous music with an undeniably rootsy charm.
Wild Child are on tour now. Check them out at http://wildchildsounds.com
By Shelley Marsden