Buffalo Bar, Cardiff

I Like Trains

Whilst the crowd was fairly small for Leeds band I Like Trains’ intricate stylings they certainly made an impression on those who were there, vocalist/guitarist David Martin even made true his promise to shake every single person’s hand after the show. This reflects the intimacy of the gig and the more textured and subtle sound I Like Trains have settled into.

Their beginnings as a noisy and euphoric post-rock band certainly shone through in their live show more than in their latest record “The Shallows”, although much of this album was showcased its more striking elements were more evident in a live setting. Whilst some of the grander moments when the bend really let loose their energy were some of the best of the night this is not to detract from the quality of their new material.

Glistening and delicate guitar lines mixed with the kind of rhythmic grooves deployed by Wild Beasts, especially evident in highlight “Mnemosyne”, mixed with rolling post punk bass lines to create a far more textured sound than some of the bands earlier, rawer material. All this was topped of by pitch perfect and eloquently delivered vocals, the consistency of the vocals was of the same quality as the bands recorded material and helped contribute to an already solid and tight set.

I Like Trains

Whilst I am a big fan of post rock bands such as Godspeed You!, Black Emperor, and Explosions In the Sky it struck me that the elements of these bands displayed in I Like Trains older material was not entirely absent from their newer songs, just that it they had been refined and pushed back slightly, giving the music space to breathe and develop. Some of the most enchanting moments, of the night, including new album track Reykjavik, came from grandiose build ups suddenly giving way to a more subtle and patient sound which expressed (to use a music-journalism cliché) maturity and a new found depth that really suits the band.

Support band Kyte sadly had to drop out of the gig and left I Like Trains to play the only set of the night, they certainly rose to this occasion playing a total of 14 tracks and never losing momentum. By a stroke a luck, and the friendliness of the band, I managed to ask them a few questions after the gig…

There are clearly a number of influences in your sound, I detected post-rock and some hints of post-punk. Who are a few of your main influences? Guy Bannister (Guitarist): ‘We have moved away from the post-rock sound a little, we’re into stuff like Krautrock; Can and Neu. . . Also the guitar tones of Interpol and bands like that.’ Alistair Bowis (Bassist): “I like to think of us as a mix of Caribou and Godspeed.”

I Like Trains

I loved the production on the new album, how did it differ from previous albums? GB: “Well we had Richard Formby on production, he did the last two Wild Beasts albums. We really went for that kind of textured production feel, we cut it down to basics.”

A final thing, the new art work [The Shallows] really reflects your sound, what were the influences for that? GB: “The artwork on the new one is mainly taken from Bauhaus, we told our graphics guy to do anything based around that and this is what we ended up with.”

A Father’s Son
A Rook House For Bobby
We Saw The Deep
Voice Of Reason
Progress is a Snake
The Hive
Terra Nova
Sea Of Regrets


Review by guest wordsmith Oliver Richards.

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