BEAK> drew a large crowd to the Columbia City Theater on October 7, 2018. This tour promoted their third album, minimalistically entitled >>>. The Bristol-based trio combines Geoff Barrow (of Portishead) on drums and vocals, Billy Fuller (of Robert Plant) on bass and vocals, and Will Young (AKA Moon Gangs) on keys and guitar.
Predominantly krautrock in their delivery, BEAK>’s tunes mix a motorik beat with gloomy synth drones, persistent bass, driving arpeggios, and sparse vocals. Their lyrics are self-aware and often devastating. Although BEAK>’s music isn’t exactly danceable, it is undeniably catchy and dares you to try not to nod along.
Barrow led BEAK> in a 12-tune set that emphasized their recent album. Particularly memorable were “Egg Dog,” “Allé Sauvage,” “Brean Down,” and the surprisingly balladic “When We Fall.” They skipped the drama of an encore, with Fuller instead quipping “This is our fake last one” before continuing with the remainder of the set. The audience left energized.
There is an unpretentious appeal about an internationally known band staffing its own merch table: Fuller made change, while Young ran albums to Barrow for a third signature as he chatted with fans nearby. BEAK> seemed like genuinely kind folks, and Seattle was fortunate to secure a stop on their limited North American tour.
Local artist Monika Khot (also of Zen Mother) opened the evening as Nordra, a noise and experimental project with an industrial element. Her compelling solo set combined processed vocals, guitar, a table full of pedals, and pocket trumpet.
Editor’s note: Apologies we had to take the > out of your name in the title. The html code would not accept it.