Hey-up, happy Sunday!
I’m currently sat here on a chilly Sunday afternoon, still exhausted from the mania that was Wolf Alice at Leeds O2 Academy last night. Do see gig review below:
So I wander into this lovely little O2 venue, one that does well to support new bands and established bands also, at around 6:20 and catch the majority of Superfood’s set. They’re a bit of a hipster outfit, very B-town – something that I feel even as a 23 year-old, I’m a tad too old for… or maybe that was because I was surrounded by 17 year-olds and students. Who knows. Anyway, they were a bit out there with their indie-funk influences and were a decent enough start to the evening.
Then about half an hour after they’d left the stage, Sunflower Bean from NYC stroll on and kick into some killer Southern rock jams, as well as reliving a couple of solid tracks from last year’s ‘Human Ceremony’ LP. I was especially impressed by Nick Kivlen’s guitar playing. The guitar itself resonated a slick sound and all-in-all it was a tight performance from one of the best support bands I’ve seen in a good while.
The crowd of course start piling in before Wolf Alice arrive on stage and the place gets typically warmer. The lights goes down and on come Ellie, Joff, Joel and Theo. The band launch into the first few chords of hazy opening track from ‘Visions Of A Life’, ‘Heavenward’. After that you are immediately launched into Wolf Alice’s world, and it’s just wonderful. There is no break in between opening track and the frenetic ‘Yuk Foo’. The kids go mental and I quickly become a sweaty mess.
After a little tribute to the debut album with a run-through of ‘You’re A Germ’ and ‘Your Loves Whore’, arguably the most fabulous moment of the evening comes early in the set when a sparkly disco ball makes itself known above us alongside a gorgeous rendition of ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’. Ellie’s now top-quality vocals shine through and it’s a highlight of the set.
The rest of the set pre-encore is a 50/50 mixed bag of tracks from the first two records, with ‘Silk’ reminding me of ‘T2 Trainspotting’ I re-watched a night prior to the gig. It must be stapled in the band’s set now following the significant feature in the film’s soundtrack. ‘Formidable Cool’ is also a personal best bit for me, its sickly swagger bleeds through the O2’s floorboards and sounds bloody awesome.
After promoting the new album with blasts through of ‘Planet Hunter’, ‘Beautifully Unconventional’, ‘Sadboy’ and ‘Space & Time’ (much to everyone’s pleasure), fan-favourite oldie, ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’ draws the biggest moshpit of the night and I notice a kid missing his trainer, frantically searching the dark ground of feet and over-priced spilt beer, with only his Iphone torch for help.
Someone eventually returns the shoe to this grateful chap and Wolf Alice reach the end of their first set with the insanely exhilarating ‘Fluffy’. This is pretty much my favourite WA song and I go positively apeshit. It’s amazing.
After a little breather, the band return to the stage with the smooth, dreamy ‘Blush’. By this point the crowd are heavily anticipating hearing ‘Giant Peach’ then buggering off to grab some water to hydrate themselves with. Joff Oddie’s technically gifted guitar-playing throughout the duration of the set has been second to none and his passionate on-stage tendencies are synonymous with gig closer ‘Giant Peach’. The place erupts and everyone slumps out onto the streets of Leeds City Centre, knackered.
So yeah, there you have it. If you’re going to any of the remaining shows on Wolf Alice’s UK tour this month, including the massive date at London’s Ally Pally, make sure to have a cracking time and enjoy it. It’s a gig you won’t forget for a while, from a band who are swiftly becoming the most relevant and important band in Britain. Cheers for reading.