28th May 2014 with Superfood and Gengahr
Dolled up in glitter and resembling different aspects of Ziggy Stardust, Wolf Alice bound on to the stage at a packed out Scala. ‘It’s so good to be home’ beams Ellie, before they launch into latest single Moaning Lisa Smile, before quickly powering into the snarl of She. Playing with zeal throughout, the London four piece power through songs that certainly please the crowd, but could never be simply defined as ‘crowd pleasers’ – they are more instinctive than that, visceral in nature as well as being emotional. Fan power is evident here, and the crowd chant lyrics to even unreleased tracks, such as Pixies esque You’re A Germ, as both audience and band throw themselves into proceedings. Capable of powerful angst fuelled tunes and slower more contemplative scores, such as Blush, Wolf Alice always have a depth to their writing, although thankfully execute it without any self reflexiveness or introversion. Ravaging and revealing in equal measure, it’s hard not to read into the lyrics as they are pummelled towards you, this combination of the singular and the collective of course making some gigs the religious quasi-experiences they are. The set was short, streaking through a mere dozen songs, including the latest EP Creatures, but those 45 minutes wielded more than a hefty punch. The ‘final’ song before an inevitable encore was the camaraderie fuelling Bros, although the greatest pogo-ing game from real final track Fluffy, its final chords seeing an amusing and endearing failed attempt t crowd surf from bassist Theo.
Tonight surely shattered any delusions that Wolf Alice might be just another teenage band. Everything from the pensive haunting moments to frantic punk riffing was executed with perfect turbulence and attitude, and we lapped it up. Wolf Alice, it’s good to have you home.