Wheat @ Water Rats, London (30th September 1999)

In a venue the size of the Water Rats, you might argue that it's pretty easy to fill it with sound. But then you probably haven't heard a sound quite like this before. It flows right around you, under you and into you. Not only that, but there are a lot of people in this place tonight. Too many, in fact, to fit into the actual venue, but every one sucked in by the visceral beauty of the Wheat musical vision. That vision creates a breathless wash of sound, melodically lulling you into a mildly stunned appreciation of something forlornly beautiful, instilling a yearning feeling of chasing broken love. It's a surprising set of emotions that you find in this music that is never quite abrasive but occasionally slightly serrated. The way the songs ebb and flow, leaping into a shower of sad/happy sparks at the critical moments is perfectly engaging, with the right combinations of power, vulnerability, intensity, sadness and a magical elusiveness. When singer Scott Levesque speaks to the crowd, he seems almost bewildered and it seems somehow quite appropriate as he steps back to allow his songs to speak for him. Wheat's star is in the ascendant, and rightly so. (Drew)
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