You know your music is reaching a lot of folk when people from all walks of life are in the crowd, and at the Wolf Alice show at Concorde 2, people of every age were in the mix. There was a feeling of unrest as we all waited for the London quartet to show us what they’ve got. The show kicked off with strobe lighting as they made a dramatic entry kicking straight in with a heavy rumbling sound.
These moody cool cats are crafters of the balance between powerful and delicate. They are authentic, raw and give you the impression they don’t need to try to be something they’re not. Vocalist Ellie Rowsell uses two mics, one for an extended echo effect which exudes over her rock n roll guitar, complemented by Joff Oddie’s intricate guitar playing, Theo Ellis’ pounding bass and Joel Amey’s thundering drums unit which can lift you up and instantly take you back down to almost silence with their ambient and delicate parts. The shock changes and massive builds take you by surprise and this is something Wolf Alice are really nailing. This is what peels back the wrapping on a polished piece and reveals a tortured soul, or a feeling of exposure. It’s the kind of feeling that gives you goose bumps. I wasn’t quite sure if Ellie was truly letting us in to the mind of her song writing, maybe that’s something that will come in the future. Or maybe it will continue to leave us mystified and wanting more.
At one point Ellie was hidden behind a mass of hair, looking like the main female character from The Ring. Her almost-bored-sounding, effortless vocals haunted through the venue. The new songs made me think of a battle cry, like a huge marching sound of impending doom. The audience clapped and chanted along to the song Storms…
“Who are your friends? Your friends, your friends, your friends…”
While Ellie and Theo swung their hips in sync in a sort of sultry daze.
It’s exciting but unsettling to watch a set of an album that you don’t know yet. The songs that we knew off the Creatures EP went down fantastically with the crowd participating and singing along, but with the new tracks, I felt like we were all listening hard and concentrating to see if we liked what we could hear. I got the same feeling back from the band, it must be nerve-wracking not knowing how the crowd will take all these new tracks, and will they buy the album after seeing it live first? I am looking forward to giving the album a close listen, as I’m not sure if I can exactly recall what their new tracks were like, but I remember thinking there was some great prospects in there.
Wolf Alice are totally on top of their game, you can tell they are a well-oiled machine; toned up musically from touring together. They teased us by leaving the stage straight away after their last song, but the crowd were up for playing along, cheering for more until they had no choice to come back and hit us with Moaning Lisa Smile. I mean, they couldn’t have left without playing this beast of a tune.
Pre order their album ‘My Love Is Cool’ here.
By Charlie O’Connor
You can check out Charlie pre-show interview with Ellie and Joff here.