by Samantha Mae
Wolf Alice, a cocktail of raging ferocity and glimmers of euphoria. All of this and more, served up in their recently released, well received second album, Visions of a Life. With this success under their belt, the run up to the band’s tour has no doubt been full of anticipation to see the fire come alive and engulf us all. What we have learnt about Wolf Alice over the years is that they go way beyond our expectations, and that did not change tonight.
Having recently finished their own headline run of smaller shows, Superfood open the night with more leg room for an amped up dose of their delectable charm. Blasting in with ‘Where’s The Bass Amp’, there is an instant lift in energy, while the catchy rhythm of ‘Unstoppable’ takes on a darker form than on the record. A feel good vibe with incredible vigour, there is a lot of excitement surrounding this band and it certainly is not going to waste.
Following this are New York indie rockers Sunflower Bean, with a performance that shines beyond guitarist and singer Nick Kivlen’s fabulous silver suit. This is a dreamy set, but not without a deliciously grinding rhythm. The sweet groove of ‘I Was A Fool’ contrasts the grunge driven psych sound that later fills the room. This is the perfect balance of satisfaction and desire to hear more.
Wolf Alice enter the stage, soaring into a stunning performance ‘Heavenward’. It is a moment of tranquility with a super sharp sound at incredible magnitude. Then, as if at a flick of a switch, ‘Yuk Foo’ crashes through in all its glorious fury. This set has all the very best of new and old, with stirring emotion, phenomenal energy and unshakeable tenacity. Ellie Rowsell pours her heart out, while the disco ball scatters soft blue light across the hall for the atmospheric wave of ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’; an unforgettable, fully immersive moment. We are in their hands and all the better for it.
Wolf Alice continue to storm through devilishly raw riffs and saucy rhythms, as well as drift along ethereal melodies. All this with seemingly no effort. It is second nature for these four to blitz through an array of different moods in what could easily be a mishap manner. Nevertheless, no matter what comes next, the movement is fluid and utterly remarkable.
The night closes on an encore brought on surprisingly by chants of ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’. First the divine delicacy of classic, ‘Blush’, throwing us into a mix of blissful serenity and emotional turmoil. Then the explosive brutality of ‘Giant Peach’, bigger than ever before, attacking the senses into a state of wonderful ecstasy.
They are full of grit, glamour, and everything in between. Whichever way they go, they give 100% and prove to no end that they are one of the best of their time. The mighty Wolf Alice; a force to be reckoned with, if you dare.
Photography by Alex Thornber.