Wolf Alice were a real treat this week at the Guildhall Southampton. The only thing that could have made it a little better would have been a sell out crowd, as the audience thinned out fairly quickly if you glanced back for too long. Put it this way, finding your friends in the pit would never be a tough task, however there was enough of a crowd to make it an unforgettable show.
After a short set from Made Violent, up stepped the electric Sheffield duo Drenge ready to whip up the excitement for Wolf Alice. The hesitant crowd at first seemed to take time to warm to the northern scamps but as soon as the band made their way through the gears the crowd responded and moved in unison to the pulsating rhythms and thunderous guitar.
As per usual for Southampton Guildhall, the crowd gradually became disjointed with gig-goers separating according to how they like to really experience a show like this. Looking around, many people didn’t know the words to Drenge’s tracks but from tonight’s performance they may have now gained many more fans from those in attendance. The two brothers didn’t talk much, which made the set a lot heavier, rocky and frenetic than their recorded material.
With a well earned break, the crowd had a chance to cool down in the sweltering Guildhall in preparation for Wolf Alice. Upon arrival, Wolf Alice hit the stage with three of their more popular tracks, including ‘Your Love’s A Whore‘ and ‘Freezy’. The former really setting up for the night ahead, with Ellie’s reverb drenched vocals filling the Guildhall vast space, which made for quite an ethereal atmosphere. After the 30minute cool down post-Drenge, the crowd gradually reverted back to standing and bobbing along, listening intently. The band soon changed this with Ellie shredding the guitar on her knees, bringing the gig to a whole new level. The band worked together effortlessly and worked their way through the entirety of their album ‘My Love is Cool’ flawlessly.
The production was an experience in itself, with an incredible light show, adding an unforgettable glow to the entire event. Even with the sweat dripping in every direction, goose bumps were definitely formed.
After being treated to a far gentler track by drummer Joel Amey, ‘Swallow Tail’ quickly dissolved into a hasty change of pace, followed up by ‘Fluffy’. The band head banged with the crowd and circle pits slowly found their way across the room. Swiftly closing the show with ‘You’re A Germ‘, which was sublime. Only to return with a three-track encore. ‘Giant Peach‘ ended the night once and for all – one of the most fantastically progressive heavy grunge songs running from an 80’s feel to Ellie screaming down the mic in anguish.
Wolf Alice smashed it with every track and I left the Guildhall wanting to go back in and do it all again.
Sauce: Rebecca James / Georgia Baker-Smith