Things have changed vastly since Glass Animals were last on British soil. Two years ago they treaded carefully, unsure on how their nonsensical jungle paradise would play out live but after mass success in the states, the four piece have found their track.
Frontman, Dave Bayley, who once cowered behind the mic, eyes glued shut, now peacocks around bright eyed and bushy tailed and much like the writing process behind How To Be A Human Being, he takes command of the set almost single handily.
A gaggle of girls screams uncontrollably as he pulls ridiculous dance moves, flapping frantically through tropical hard-hitter ‘Life Itself’, spits water like a fire breathing circus act during ‘Pools’ and they go bezerk when he whips out a pineapple for ‘Pork Soda’s “pineapples are in my head” chant. The calculated performance does at times verge on gimmicky but the singer has become empowered by the new-found fandom brought about by this album.
Early material has been spruced up to slip in effortlessly; ‘Black Mambo’ is sleek and sexy, and yells The 1975 as pink neon beams down on over-indulgent guitar solos and ‘Toes’ is almost unrecognisable as Bayley snarls “welcome to my zoo.” If their old stuff was a zoo, then this is the fun fair.
The band toy with the crowd; pepping up ‘Youth’s intro and boosting it with even more nostalgia and flipping the room momentarily into a Gameboy colour for a predictably glitchy version of ‘Season 1 Episode 2’. The cheesy track veers towards Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’ elevator music, as soothing piano takes over for another prolonged song ending. From the erratic dance moves, to the perfectly timed out lights display, it’s clear Glass Animals may not be as cool as the Toronto rapper, but they’ve certainly found their gang.
Words by Josh Shreeve. Photos by Ethan Weatherby.