With An Array Of Lights And A Brilliantly Designed Setlist!
Liverpool born indie trio The Wombats dazzled Aussie fans at a sold out show at the iconic Festival Hall Melbourne on the 19th of July to celebrate the recent release of their fourth Album ‘Beautiful people will ruin your life’.
The band have a larger than life fan base here in Australia, with a sold out Australian tour and a spot at the country’s biggest and most prestigious music festival, Splendour in the Grass which kicked off this weekend.
My head filled with excitement at the notion of reviewing this band as it brought a sense of nostalgia back to me. Listening to The Wombats first and second album as a teenager, leaping round to ‘let’s dance to Joy Division’ in Tokyo’s Oldham when I was 17 (cmon we’ve all done it) and being able to grow up with the band and still feeling like a giddy 15 year old when they release new music.
The chosen venue was very special. I had never been to this venue before and was unsure what to expect from it. Melbourne has some highly regarded music venues, and Festival Hall did not disappoint. It was a large venue with a capacity of 1740 but still had an intimate feel about it. The venue was sold out but not over crowded so was plenty of room for dancing and not feeling like your drinks are going to spill over onto the person next to you.
The support came from Elderbrook, a one man London masterpiece of the electric feel. He certainly got the crowd up in arms with his powerful performances of ‘cola’ and ‘good times’. I was marvelled at the fact that he was able to create such music with only himself. He is truly talented and a perfect support that complimented the feel of the Wombats new Album.
The band kicked off with one from their new album, ‘cheetah tongue’, much to the fans delight. They then jumped into ‘give me a try’ from their third album Glitterbug. There was a vivid light display throughout the show with each song being captured by beautiful lasers and bold lighting, in particular a vivid image of the skyline of London. The set list was a perfect combination of old and new, each song going effortlessly into the other.
They then leaped into ‘1996’, my all time favourite Wombats song. Not only because I was born in 1996 but, because of the electricity of the song, it has a perfect composition of electronic beats and percussion.
As the set list continued, the band played ‘kill the director’, ‘Black Flamingo’ and ‘White Eyes’. The band started to play ‘Techno Fan’ and the floor lit up. The atmosphere was truly breathtaking. A charismatic laser light display matched the lyrics perfectly, as “the lasers fill our minds with empty plans, I never knew I was a techno fan”.
The full set felt very inclusive and the crowd interaction was brilliant. This was evident in the interlude section of the set as the band played ‘elevator music’. It is as though we were transported to a New York office going high into the sky, as soon as we hit the thirteenth floor, it could be said we ‘jumped into the fog’.
The band closed the set with “let’s dance to joy division” coupled with a vivid image of the Joy Division logo, something a girl so far from her Manchester home was absolutely over the moon to spectate.
The encore was a balanced mixture of their best work, with ‘Turn’, ‘Tokyo (vampires and wolves)’ and ‘Greek tragedy’. I had to stand back and observe the sheer electricity in the atmosphere. Watching the fans around me all signing in unison, with the confetti filled skies and giant bouncy balls being thrown around as if we were playing catch in the school playground.
Overall, The Wombats did not disappoint Melbourne fans, they most definitely exceeded any expectations. The perfect combination of lighting, crowd interaction, carefully selected set lists, and dancing Wombats of course, equated to one of the most memorable concerts I have attended, and I am almost sure the boys will be welcomed back with open arms and a sold out show in Melbourne in November at the Palais Theatre.