Wild Flag @ Electric Ballroom 1st February 2012

This was one bitterly cold evening which made queuing up an extremely grueling task. Someone suggested to me arrive about an hour before doors and to expect possible hardcore fans to already waiting outside the venue. I arrived at 4.30pm and there wasn’t a single person waiting outside the Electric Ballroom. Whilst waiting I heard the sound checks by both Wild Flag and Peggy Sue. Honestly I think I did misjudge on when to queue as the 2nd person arrived at 6pm. This gig wasn’t a sell out which was surprising considering how amazing both bands were. Part of the reason I attended was to see Peggy Sue. The one thing I disliked was the fact no one came out to organise the queue. Despite that doors opened 15 minutes late and it was a pleasure to be inside the warm.

Opening up the night were the fantastic Peggy Sue who I absolutely adore. They previously played at this venue as part of the Camden Crawl last year which saw them on the same bill as Razorlight and Slow Club. Unfortunately that set was blighted by technical difficulties. This time everything ran smoothly as they played to a crowd that was nearly full to capacity. Only 7 songs featured with them all taken from the sophomore album Acrobats. Rosa Slade, Katy Young, Olly Joyce and a brand new member took to the stage and launched into a mash up of This Constant Night/ There Always Was. The first half of this mash up was This Constant Night which was an iTunes exclusive track when you purchased Acrobats. I liked this song as it’s slightly uptempo and extremely powerful. There Always Was which was geled to the end of This Constant Night was delivered to perfection. I am quite fond of this song but the lyrics are very dark. Straight after it was onto the albums lead single this being the upbeat Song & Dance. This song oozed plenty of energy and was delivered powerfully. “We’re called Peggy Sue, it’s a pleasure to be here” Rosa then said to the crowd before launching into Funeral Beat. This song was belted out and it showcased their extraordinary vocals. “We’re playing you some new songs from our second album Acrobats which came out last year, this one is a bit of a slow quiet one” Katy said before going straight into Parking Meter Blues. This was the first time I had heard this song live and it was incredible. Both Katy’s and Rosa’s vocals gel together to form this lovely gentle song. It was then onto the infectious Ruthie. “I’m having a really nice time, We’ve just been on tour with Wild Flag which is sort of a dream come true coz their all really good” Katy said before saying that they only had 2 songs left. The penultimate song being All We’ll Keep. Both Katy and Rosa sang this powerful song. It was actually a lot heavier compared to the other songs that had featured maybe it was down to the electric guitars and drumbeat?. “So this is going to be our last song and you’ve been very kind, We’ve been Peggy Sue, Thankyou for having us and thankyou to Wild Flag for having us on this tour coz its been really really really incredible” Katy then said to the packed crowd. Ending the set was the 6 minute epic Cut My Teeth. This song was delivered with every ounce of energy.

SET LIST

This Constant Night/ There Always Was
Song & Dance
Funeral Beat
Parking Meter Blues
Ruthie
All We’ll Keep
Cut My Teeth

9.40pm then came and Wild Flag took to the stage. The group consists of Carrie Brownstein (vocals, guitar), Mary Timony (vocals, guitar), Rebecca Cole (keyboards, backing vocals) and Janet Weiss (drums, backing vocals). With an album that features only 10 songs I was expecting a short set but I was wrong. Once they were all onstage they launched into Black Tiles with Timony taking the lead vocals for the first verse of this song. Basically Mary and Carrie alternated between verses. This was one epic song mainly down to the fact it had some fantastic guitar playing at the end. Geled to this song was something brand new. This being Winter Pair which was extremely fast paced and Brownstein took the lead. Winter Pair was delivered with plenty of passion and energy. Electric Band was the next of the night and Mary took to the vocals for this one. “We’re very very happy to be back in London” Timony said before they launched into the heavy Future Crimes which was released as a single April 2011 especially for Record Store Day. After plenty of cheers it was then straight into Something Came Over Me. This was a fantastic song and was delivered to perfection. It was then into Short Version which was one brilliant tune. “This is our first proper time coming to the UK, I’m having a very English experience I am listening to PJ Harvey. Maybe the best record ever and I’m reading Stephen Fry” Carrie then said to the jam packed audience. It was then into Glass Tambourine which I adored due to the fact there were amazing melodies and harmonies. After it was on to two brand new cuts which will no doubt feature on the 2nd album. This song being Mary and the track which followed was Carrie. Both these two new songs offer a lot of promise and it makes me excited to hear the 2nd LP when it is released. I am guessing that they are both working titles as both are Mary and Carrie solo songs. “Alright we just have a couple more songs” Brownstein said before launching into Boom. Boom is the brand new single by the band and there was an intensity when hearing it played live. Another brand new song followed on and this being Nothing. To begin with there was a steady pace and the song itself wasn’t that heavy. Then when all the instruments kick in that is when it hits you like a full on force. Still fantastic song look forward to hearing the studio version. The penultimate song being the upbeat Racehorse and this song was a right crowd pleaser. “Thankyou so much we just have one more song, it’s for all you lovers out there” Carrie said before they ended the night with the danceable Romance. The band then left the stage to cheers only to come out minutes later for what would be an incredible encore. This was to be to covers the first being See No Evil by Television. “I spilt water all over my amp” Carrie Brownstein admitted to the crowd before getting stuck into this powerful song. But it was the take on Patti Smith’s Ask The Angels which stood out. This song was sung by Brownstein who delivered an intense version of this song.

SET LIST

Black Tiles
Winter Pair
Electric Band
Future Crimes
Something Came Over Me
Short Version
Glass Tambourine
Mary
Carrie
Boom
Nothing
Racehorse
Romance

ENCORE

See No Evil
Ask The Angels

OVERALL: Wild Flag fall into the Indie Rock genre. Whilst I prefer my music to be slightly more Pop I’ll make an exception for this band. I enjoyed this set from start to finish and the brand new songs were amazing. The self titled début album is brilliant and features 10 classic tracks and each one is a right cracker. The choice of encore was brilliant and those two covers were so intense (Ask The Angels in particular). When the 2nd album is released I will definitely see them again live.

Plus the fact Peggy Sue supported was an excellent choice. This time round they sailed through the set and gained new fans in the process.

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