Wolf Alice – York Barbican – 17/03/16
2015 was a successful year for Wolf Alice (9). Since releasing their debut album ‘My Love Is Cool’ which flew in to the no.2 spot of the UK album charts, they have been collecting awards for the best new/breakthrough artist, and even found themselves nominated at both the Brit Awards and Grammy Awards. So it’s no surprise that Wolf Alice have kicked off their 2016 with a huge UK tour to prove their worth.
Tonight’s show at the York Barbican is one of the only few shows on the tour that hasn’t sold out (presumably because of the Leeds date following), but nonetheless it’s a huge turn out and those who have made the effort to get down are going to be hugely rewarded.
The London alternative four pieces take the stage to applause and kick the show off with the huge drum and guitar driven intro of ‘Your Love Whore’, leaving the crowd head banging along. The calming voice of front woman Ellie Rowsell soon appears as the song progresses in a more reserved manner. She looks calm and cool stood front stage with her guitar, fronting a confident band that back her up flawlessly.
The composed intro and verse of ‘You’re a Germ’ follows before breaking into its loud and thrashing chorus, leaving everyone bouncing along including guitarist Jeff Oddie. He can’t stand still as he head bangs his way through the rocking chorus, right up until the hit single ‘Freazy’, which gets a great reception from the crowd whilst they dance along to its tantalizing guitar riffs with Ellie’s hypnotic vocals for a steady sing along.
As you would expect, their set is crammed with tracks from their hit debut album ‘My Love is cool’. The fantastic ‘Bros’ and ‘Lisbon’ are both performed solidly and sound seamless live. ‘Fluffy’ creates one of the stand out moments of the set as the rocking chorus keeps the crowd on their toes. ‘Silk’, ‘The Wonderwhy’ and ‘Swallowtail’ all bring calmer moments to the set that flaunt the front woman’s voice perfectly, and show the band have a diverse backlog of tracks to keep things interesting.
However there are a few extras from their previous EP’s, which do also feature in the set. The chilling ’90 Mile Beach’ and the loud and proud ‘Storms’ both bring their own character to the set, but it is ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’ which predictably creates the highlight of the set with it’s infectious chorus which everyone in the room can’t help but sing along too. It sounds flawless live and displays with little trouble the reason the band were crowned ‘best live band’ at this years NME awards.
The “Yorkshire” and “we want more” chants echo out loud through the Barbican, and after a short wait the four-piece return to the stage to the beautiful ‘Turn to Dust’ which not only sounds great, but visually looks incredible thanks to the lighting technician who has made tonight’s show look astonishing throughout.
The set closes in style with ‘Giant Peach’, arguably the bands rockiest track. It bursts into life leaving the crowd moshing along to the pounding drums and screeching guitars for one final time. The breakdown builds up to one final explosive moment leaving Ellie screaming into her microphone as the heavy guitar riff closes finishes the show perfectly.
A thoroughly solid live performance from Wolf Alice tonight, which we will undoubtedly see at many festivals in the summer. The four-piece are only kicking off their glittering career, and they show great potential and character that will create much more in the foreseeable future. We can’t wait to see what’s next for Wolf Alice!
Check out more live photos from the show of Wolf Alice here!
Photography – Danny Peart Photography