Photos (c) Hannah Broughton
Full-tilt gig-insanity is not the only reason Wolf Alice are lucky to have teens on their team – who else is going to update multiple Tumblrs dedicated to you?
Don’t see the kids of Bristol out and about any more, do you? While they should be out intimidating the elderly just like in the good old days, they’re all inside Instagramming their dogs and mooning over the Kardashians – or so the media would have you believe. Well, actually, no they’re not – a fair whack of them were all down the front of Wolf Alice last night, on an absolute IRL mad one, TBH.
Honestly, the front row was positively fetal, and while they’re not 100% sure on how to interact with the rest of the gig-going spectrum (you can’t just push past people’s faces like that and expect them not to push you back) they make everything so FUN. From the very first they were chucking each other in the air, throwing beer in each other’s eyes, and not once (at least, from over here) did you see them sending pals at home 30 seconds of awful, gritty Snapchat video like their dads would have done. They were all there, present, and moshing to the slow songs, and the dads are all firmly stationed at the back.
Wolf Alice have gone similarly gig-wild onstage. Excellent lead Ellie Rowsell alternately shrieks and delivers spine-shivers into two mics and a guitar while the rest of the band sweat, pull faces and mutter ‘this is mad, this is mad’ and peer into the crowd-surfing chaos below. The chaos knows every word, every key change, and it screams before songs, during songs and after songs. The front is only stumped when a new song from WA’s unreleased album comes up, and even then they still listen attentively and do the obligatory scream after. Screams include: ‘WE LOVE YOU ELLIE! ELLIE ELLIE ELLIE’, ‘BR-R-RAP!’ and a something that sounds uncannily like a dying ostrich. That one goes round a fair bit.
While all this is kicking off, there is still the one show staple that will never die – the Wall of Death – to tick off, and it’s not long before Wolf Alice’s newest single, Giant Peach, gets that ultimate seal of approval. Ellie approves, and wades out into the sea of hands, still singing pitch-perfectly. Bassist Theo Ellis soon follows, and funnily enough, the crowd likes him just as much. Even security is smiling.
Unparalleled, full-tilt gig-insanity not the only reason Wolf Alice are lucky to have teens on their team – who else is going to update multiple Tumblrs dedicated to you? Or correct the idiots running LyricsMania when they’ve got the chorus wrong, AGAIN? Wolf Alice are so good live that they should appeal to every-bloody-one, but the audience they attract make them even better. Don’t worry, you can stand stand at the back with your smartphone – but you should you fancy it, the Circle of Death judges no-one.
Check out ‘Giant Peach’ right here: