Last night I was watching one of my favourite programmes, The Secret Life Of The Zoo on Channel 4. It’s a documentary that takes a behind the scenes look at animals in Chester Zoo, and more often that not, it features the residents trying to get frisky with each other (the animals, not the keepers). I followed that up with a good dose of Blue Planet 2 and a cuddle with my cat, making it a pretty animal-heavy night in. I am obviously an animal lover. So, to someone like me, a Tory vote against transferring an EU protocol on animal sentience to the UK is unimaginably cruel – in fact, many have interpreted this as a denial that animals feel pain or experience emotions. MP’s have of course denied this, and whilst it is true that existing EU protocol allows for things like bullfighting to continue, it’s not exactly a good look for the nasty party. Animal cruelty is rife as it is, which I discovered last week at a student bar. I saw someone wearing a fur stole – at first I was sure it couldn’t be real, but closer inspection of it’s limp little paws and soft muzzle confirmed the worst – this was a real arctic fox draped around someone’s neck.  I considered pouring my drink over it or sticking chewing gum in the fur, but instead I spoke to its owner, who explained it was okay if she wears fur because she came from ‘old money’ and it was handed down to her, and besides, nobody else would be able to afford it so she was hardly encouraging it. What. A. Dick.

All this ‘creature’ talk has well and truly put me in the mood for the new single from Beasts, aptly entitled ‘Creature’ (inelegant segue aside, this track is really good, and I should know because Beasts are one of Killing Moon’s latest signings). In their short history, the Bristol/London three-piece have already made their mark, with Radio 1’s Daniel P. Carter premiering their first two singles, Annie and My Girl Is a Serpent, which were subsequent played by BBC radio presenters Zane Lowe and Phil Taggart. The band aren’t strangers to life on the road either, with a slew of recent festival appearances including 2000 Trees, Isle of Wight Festival, Download Festival, Reading & Leeds, Rock for the People in Europe, and The Great Escape.

Beasts’ impressive list of accolades comes as no surprise, given the band’s masterful songwriting and fresh sound. Joe Mallory-Skinner (guitar and vocals), Tom Wood (drums) and Loz Fancourt (bass) cite influences across the spectrum of 90s grunge and alternative, with their sound further sculpted by veteran producer Jaime Gomez Arellano. Despite the obvious grunge comparisons, they have an undeniably gothic edge; Creature comes to life with smooth vocal harmonies, ethereal sound effects and subtle licks of organ, which weave around loud fuzz guitar and slurred drums. You can catch them at their single launch show TONIGHT at Crobar in Soho from 7-9pm. Come down and get sweaty.

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