Wolf Alice @ O2 Apollo Manchester
The Camden four piece’s second album ‘Visions of a Life’ was released in September, and I was a bit dubious at first about the sonic direction the band were heading in, with the snarling lead single Yuk Foo and the gooey lovers lament Don’t Delete The Kisses. However, I felt like it was an extension of their previous album and felt the flitting between snarling rock and hypnotic electronic, worked well and was a step up ofthe sound the band have always had the potential for.
The first act up tonight are fellow Dirty Pop signing, Birmingham four piece Superfood, who I caught back in April when the Dirty Hit Tour pulled into Liverpool Arts Club. Riling the audience up for the main event, with their bold and funky performances, they wonderfully weave the funk and soul of second album Bambino, with 2014’s chilled indie album Don’t Say That. The crowd received them well, igniting a sea of bodies moving to the beat
Next up are New York’s Sunflower Bean clad in futuristic 70’s garments, with a euphoric indie sound, with latest single I Was A Fool being echoed back to a dedicated portion of the crowd.
Finally, Wolf Alice emerged from backstage and took their place on stage. The beautiful aesthetic of the Manchester O2 Apollo takes a big voice to make aesthetically pleasing acoustic, and I was confident the band were set to fulfill this. Ellie Rowsell holds an ethereal stage present like no other, part Stevie Nicks, part Joan Jett with her new barnett, her tiny frame commands the stage with a wry smile.
The set is very intricately thought out, as the band begin with shoegaze tinged Heavenward and rip’s into the heavily guitar driven tracks such as Yuk Foo and You’re a Germ, alternating with the slower tracks such as Trainspotting 2’s Silk and Don’t Delete The Kisses, lulling the crowd in and out of a trance.
Personal highlight of the night has got to be Don’t Delete The Kisses, with it’s intoxicatingly piercing vocals and the nostalgic loop track. The glittering disco ball is a nice touch, giving big nostalgia towards the sweeter stage of being young and in love. As Rowsell sits on the edge of the stage, you can feel the authenticity of the band and their music, there are no gimmicks or counterfeit arrogance.
After finishing with a visceral delivery of Fluffy, the band return on stage for a two song encore, much to the delight of the crowd. The melancholic Blush from the EP of the same name, is hauntingly beautiful, while Giant Peach leaves the crowd in the standing area in a sweaty state of euphoria.
Tonights set at the Apollo was a triumph for the band and I can only expect their fanbase to gain momentum after tonight, this is the first time I’ve had the chance to see them and I can’t wait for the second.
Listen to latest single Heavenward below.