With Animal Joy ranking amongst their best work, Shearwater feel like one of 2012’s great overlookeds, their seventh album receiving only a fraction of the attention it deserves. However, the fact they remain inexplicably niche carries a silver lining for those assembled in Broadcast for the band’s second swing through Glasgow this year, with the venue’s small size helping foster a particularly intimate performance (“the best thing about this place is the low overheads,” jokes/forecasts Jonathan Meiburg of the ceiling’s close proximity).
lurgy” has left Meiburg feeling robbed of some range, but a thunderous
sound compensates ably, imbuing tracks like Animal Life and Castaway
with real power. In the encore, Meiburg invites requests and selflessly
selects the one most testing to his ravaged voice-box, stretching for
every high note of a solo Hail, Mary and setting hairs on edge. As the
full band exit the stage, Meiburg’s hand goes through the aforementioned
low ceiling, branding the fledgling venue with a memory of the evening
and delivering an irresistible metaphor: a fist raised in triumph that
confirms they’re destined for bigger things.