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The Wild Eyes

Killer Heels

by Roger Young, images by Luke Daniel / 11.01.2011

Evol is indie as fuck and sweating balls. It’s like a being trapped inside a goth’s pencil case with a hundred glorious haircuts. On stage a figure hooded in a plastic polka dot raincoat stands on a lawn chair; there is a slight confusion in the crowd. I’m at the back and I try get around a pole to get closer and by the time I do Nikhil Singh is onstage in a blond wig, killer heels and a pretty dress. Len Cockraft and Gareth Dawson are the humans to his alien; they take their positions in the rhythm section and the Amyl Nitrate synth rock kicks in.

It’s three songs in when I realise that I’m not paying that much critical attention to the music because I’m enslaved and made rabid by the throbbing beat. There is a mesmerizing faux vapidity to Singh’s performance that is underpinned by the skillful driving of Cockraft and Dawson; they melt rolling toms into semi handclap drum pad strikes under his spookily commanding sneer of a voice. Without them Singh might come off as a little bit street person insane but instead there is a tension between his Merciless Ming megalomaniacal glow and the deep head banging groove. It’s a little like Poesie Noire collaborated with Seventeen Seconds era The Cure and made Tolhurst listen to a lot of Rockabilly.

The Wild Eyes

Singh is more than just a visual freak, his lyrics at time can seem tauntingly witchy; sketching out a Le Veyian fantasy world of crumbling morals and strobe lights. Dawson occasionally swaps from bass to drum pad; he and Cockcraft making rhythm elastic while Singh sends out wave after lush wave of synth heaven.

Everyone is watching few are dancing, it’s too hot, a lethargic twitch suffices for most except those down front who slavishly groove. Cockraft and Dawon synch up on the dual drum pads and it gets all Coldwave Riverdance, Singh shouts “Ich Liebe Dich” reapeatedly. In the crowd The Magic of Pegasus boys stand mesmerized by the Neubauten Soft Cell hedonism. During the course of the gig the large strange man Bingo makes three stage appearances; firstly as some kind of power tool gimp, then as a VHS carny Slut and finally as a pink gauze nightgown mirror obsessive. Each time he takes the gap at center stage filled only by the empty lawn chair. The Wild Eyes are so focused on what they’re doing they hardly notice when he is there; even when he is shooting sparks off his metal heart into the shying crowd.

The Wild Eyes

When he does, Singh plays the guitar as an afterthought, but it makes convincing noise anyway. His performance is at once brutal and removed like an asexual voyeur in a Wilmot’s cave. Dawson bends his bass notes by leaning close to his amp. Cockcraft is like a mechanical voodoo priest. I mean to take notes on lyrics but all I remember is Nazi-like shouts of “Sex Slave”. Singh is so I don’t give a fuck out there and all the wigs and glitter do is obscure that fact. They actually make him seem more harmless than he is. When he sings “Chainsaw In The Hands Of My Lover”, I don’t for one second think he’s being metaphorical.

This new Wild Eyes material is so at once familiar and strange. It’s like nothing I think I’ve heard but it sounds likes it been made before. It drags you in and then makes you forget it’s there. I don’t quite understand it yet I am deathly attracted to it.

The Wild Eyes

The Wild Eyes

The Wild Eyes

All images © Luke Daniel.

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RESPONSES (26)
  1. Anonymous says:

    thanks for speaking about the music, nice

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  2. Bradley Abrahams says:

    excellent bit of journalism

    children – take note.

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  3. James Watts says:

    The photos look out of this world!

    Good review.. of veritable worth.

    Much better than other journalist fool who wrote for this page.
    I think his name is Kavish Shetty or something

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  4. the wild ears says:

    video clip full song CHRISTMAS IN DRESDEN
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1EJTBBFHLU

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  5. the wild head, shoulders, knees and toes says:

    It was very sweaty inside Evol – I didn’t realise The Wild Eyes were that hot!

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  6. Mer says:

    is that a f****ng axe??

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  7. Anonymous says:

    yes i agree, it’s a well-written review that focuses on the music and not the silly indie kids – for a change !

    thanks for that

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  8. Pete says:

    I actually saw Nik go onstage with Waddie and Yo-landi in 2003, at the Bijoux. Why did they never collaborate again? Constructus!

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  9. RickyDee says:

    Just when you had gotten rid of the “fat fuck”, he returns with a masterpiece.

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  10. ^JENNYDISKO^ says:

    SEX SLAVE VHS CAM WHORE SLUTZ JIZZ UP MY ASS WILD EYES!!WILD EYES!!!WILDEYES!!!!

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  11. Yep says:

    @Mer: yep. It are ein axe.

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  12. Andy says:

    they did collaborate on Waddy’s Constructus project. Nikhil did all the drawings. But it didn’t end well. One day, hopefully, Nik will spill the beans. Waddyleaks?!

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  13. Andy Pandy says:

    Yet another artist that refuses to work with Waddy, hmm maybe people should look at the common denominator.

    Nikhil’s art was amazing, I can’t say much for the equal amount of pages reserved for Waddy’s brain turd.

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  14. Mary says:

    I thought it was more like being inside a Bulgarian boxer’s tighties when he’s training in Bangalore.

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  15. Manza says:

    Rock ‘N Roll is childish.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    What I like about The Wild Eyes is that, when most bands are taking two genres and gluing them together (rap rave, nu rave, electroclash) and it sounds like all the bad parts from each genre, these guys take stuff from EVERYWHERE and make it into something that sounds new.

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  17. doomer says:

    Interesting fact: Wild Eyes came to watch kidofdoom play at a skate park in pretoria back in 2007 and then told the band…you dudes should come play in cape town and then helped us organise our first ever tour…respect!!!!!

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  18. Anonymous says:

    actually that was all thanks to Loucas Polydorou, who was saying come to thrashers and
    watch this new band Kid of Doom, we went and they where the shit, those pretoria kids where crazy
    and we where very drunk and high>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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  19. Capri says:

    The most pressing question is this- is Len’s suname pronounced ‘Cock-raft’, as in a raft made of bouyant cocks which will happily float you to the other side of the sea, or ‘Cock-craft’, as in he’s an expert at crafting things with cocks?

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  20. jealous of Len's giant member says:

    It’s raft, because Len’s penis is big enough to be used as a flotation device in the case on an emergency. Oft a person has wondered how Len can play two bass drums at the same time, the man has an extra leg!

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  21. Moose says:

    The Wild Eyes gig at Evol was the best I’ve been to in a long while. Beats the crap out of the hipster shit I’ve been throwing up to in Shoreditch.

    It’s also completely different (and better) than their old sound. EVOL was packed and all eyes on the band – no mean feat given how fucking hot and sweaty it was.

    They should open for Nina Hagen. Fuck that Nina Hagen should open for them.

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  22. the wild shoulderblades says:

    wild eyes at assembly – full song – NIGHTCLUBBING

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6MUwn7oTwQ

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  23. Moose says:

    why are the pictures so light? it was fucking dark in there… they look like rehearsal shots!

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  24. Anonymous says:

    what a load of tosh for the kiddies!

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