Thursday 22 September 2022

Wyldest / Mui Zyu / Lass - Manchester Gullivers - 21st September 2022

Wyldest brought their third album Feed The Flowers Nightmares to Gullivers ballroom in Manchester on Wednesday night, performing the album in full with support from Mui Zyu and Lass.

Lass opened the show with an unannounced set, so we only managed to catch their final two songs, including their single 20s Are Weird which deals with the concept of getting older and life changing. With two acoustic guitars and the twin vocals of sisters Joy and Grace we walk into the middle of a set that's clearly charmed the small crowd that have gathered with engaging wit and songs with immediate hooks.

Mui Zyu is accompanied by Lucci on casios and guitars. Her songs come from the inside, deep intently personal stories from her life. Second song Yolk is dedicated to the women in her life who brought her up in a foreign country, whilst Zi Oi (Cantonese for self-love or self-respect) is a letter to her younger self about growing up in foreign cultures, both tracks coming from her A Wonderful Thing Vomits EP as does opening track Pour A Brain. The music is a compelling mix of electronic keyboard sounds and taut tight guitars that create the tense atmosphere that runs through these songs ratcheting up the intensity of the music. That intensity is more than matched by Mui Zyu's delivery, searching for inner peace and answers and finding some of them in music.

Feed The Flowers Nightmares was released last week and is Wyldest's third album and the strongest to date. Wyldest takes on many forms, often, as she tells us, it is just Zoe acoustically on her own performing solo, but tonight she has an impressive four-piece band in tow.  With Jennifer on bass and very occasional keyboards, Marie on lead guitar who you could spend all evening just watching her hands on the fretboard such is the dexterity of her playing and the sounds she elicits from her guitar and Adie on drums providing the backbone, Wyldest's live sound is much more robust, but no less affecting, than it is on record. They also appear to have a real bond, joking at a false start when the sound tech prematurely thinks they're ready to start and between songs. Zoe, Wyldest's creative force, is at the centre, also on guitar and keys for a couple of tracks towards the end of the set, her rich emotive voice living these songs so much that it threatens to give out towards the end but she soldiers on through.

It's quite a brave and unusual move for Wyldest to come out and just play the new album given it's only been out less than a week and the vinyl copies of it haven't hit shops yet, but these songs do feel like they belong together, and it's telling that there's nothing from the previous two albums at all. Hearing them as one for the first time actually feels the perfect way to experience them with the creator stood in front of you living them out.

The press around the album has talked of a reset, the lead single The Best Is Yet To Come, previewed last year on dates with Lanterns On The Lake, is moved from second on the record to the end of the set, leaving us on a sense of optimism and hope beyond the darkness that lingers in the likes of the album's title track. It's one of our favourite songs of the year, but nothing that comes before stands pale in its shadow such is the overarching quality of the album, the slower paced Easier To Believe and Abeline, the stand outs if we had to choose. The audience tonight might be small, a situation we're seeing way too often for touring artists of this size at the moment, but they're drawn in and their attention held for the fifty minutes of the set that deserves many more people in the room.

Wyldest played Everytime You'll Be Mine, Abeline, Winter Limbs, Hungry For You To Know, Tinfoil Girl, Feed The Flowers Nightmares, Uncle A, Easier To Believe, Lucid Lately, Inky Road and The Best Is Yet To Come.

Wyldest's website can be found here and they are on Facebook and Twitter. They play Glasgow Hug And Pint (September 23), Dunfermline PJ Molloys (24), Leeds Hyde Park Book Club (27), Birmingham Hare And Hounds 2 (28), Bristol Crofters Rights (29) and Southampton Joiners (October 1).

Mui Zyu is on Twitter.

Lass are on Facebook.


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