Having had two high-profile support slots already this year with The 1975 and Manic Street Preachers, it’s no doubt that most of Wolf Alice’s own headline tour is pretty much sold out. Not only that, but they have the songs to back up their rising fame.
Tonight we have the rather splendid London based Gengahr opening proceedings. Their set is met with a rausing reception, however the vocals seemed a little low in the mix and were inaudiable at times. Nonetheless, the music emphasised the potential these guys have.
Next up are fast-rising local heroes Superfood. Originally billed as supporting on all dates except Birmingham, it is a very nice surprise to see them turn up. Opening track ‘Melting’ sees the audience in a frivolous mood as a huge circle pit fires up entertaining even the band. Their set seems criminally short, but nonetheless brilliant. New songs ‘Lions Den’ and ‘Skyline’ prove that the forthcoming album will be nothing short of a treat, whereas older favourites from the recently released ‘MAM EP’; ‘Bubbles’ and ‘TV’ see more moshing from the slightly younger crowd. The closing ‘Superfood’ is a signal for a final free-for-all and again sees the band playing rather loosely but perfecting their dispaly as well as grinning at the sights before them. Easily put, Superfood smashed this support slot.
Having seen the audience wake up and seemingly in more of a party mood than a typical Monday should allow (afterall, it is a school night), it seems that Wolf Alice are going to bring out a very lively reaction. Bang on 9.30pm, the lights dip and Ellie Rowsell, Joff Oddie, Joel Amey and Theo Ellis arrive with huge grins on their faces. Kicking off with new single ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’, it takes just seconds for the riff to kick in and the audience waking up.
Things get loud as second song of the set opens up. ‘She’ from last years ‘Blush EP’ is loud and sets the pace for the rest of the set. The band are playing like their lives depend on it. There is a lot of passion and energy as the band power through their set. Showcasing songs from the forthcoming debut album (Still to be announced) there is a lot to be excited about. If you caught the band on either of their support slots, you saw a very reserved band. Tonight they have relaxed, full of confidence and rocking around the stage. They are almost a completely different band… yet better for it.
‘Baby Ain’t Made of China’ and ‘Storms’ sound wonderful ‘You’re Loves Whore’ and ‘You’re A Germ’ allow for a more finer crafted set of lyrics, but remain a strong arsenal within their current catalogue. ‘Blush’ arrives and slows the pace down for a moment, there is even a lighter being waved around in a joking fashion until the “Punchdrunk, dumbstruck, pot luck, happy, happy” line allows the song to kick in and blow the roof off the tiny venue. Without seeing it coming, as the song fades out, the band begin to segue in to something familiar, a few moments later a stunning cover of Chris Issac’s ‘Wicked Game’ tears the place in half. Ellie’s vocals sound gloriously seductive yet powerful.
‘Jam’ and ‘We’re Not The Same’ bring the pace back up to full on rock out mode and again sees Ellie unleash some stunning vocal talents, the little rock goddess begins to shine through. Again, showing a new side to the band not seen on the previous support slots. The set closes with a frantic version of single ‘Bros’. As the band blast through the first verse, a young female fan adorns a freinds’ shoulders and stands in the middle of the circle pit. Ellie and Theo single her out and reach in to high five the young girl.
Returning to the stage a few short moments later, Joff entices the crowd to have one last hyper spree and they launch in to ‘Fluffy’. This is like watching a band with 15 years experience power through their greatest hit. Amazing to think Wolf Alice haven’t released their debut album yet. With the songs on showcase tonight, the record will prove to be a highlight of the year. Take note, this band are going to be very big, very very big if they keep performances like this going.