Live Review

Wolf Alice, The Forum, London

28th March 2016

Anyone who tells you Wolf Alice couldn’t have sold out a venue five times this size this weekend is only kidding themselves.

There’s not much left to be written about Wolf Alice’s first steps. Lord knows we’ve penned a fair bit of it - every step of the way, from their first headline shows to their triumphant Brixton Academy moment, we’ve pinned them as the band of a generation. Back on their North London home turf, tonight they prove to be worth every syllable.

In case there was any doubting their status as figureheads of a new movement, their support billings across these four sold out nights at Kentish Town’s Forum paint the most vibrant picture British music has seen in years. From sure-fire bets like Spring King and Swim Deep, to the next generation via Crows and Abattoir Blues, Wolf Alice’s Forum foundation proves there’s life in these Isles like never before. In case there was any doubting the camaraderie of that new breed, Gengahr guitarist John Victor fills the vacant bassist spot left by a poorly Theo Ellis with ease. All in this together.

The singalongs to the first verse of opener ‘Your Loves Whore’ ring to the rafters, every bit a rallying cry as it is a snot-nosed ode to youth. From there on out, each second of Wolf Alice’s set tonight screams for bigger stages.

'Bros', the blog favourite turned radio hit, replicates that ceiling-shaking reception, the accompanying claps feeling like they might raise the building from its roots. It's remarkable to witness - a band born for festival headliner status reigning themselves in rather than gunning straight for the big time. Anyone who tells you Wolf Alice couldn't have sold out a venue five times this size this weekend is only kidding themselves. The fact that they'd rather keep it low key and local is only further indication of the attitude that will take them skyward.

Dipping in and out of the old and new, they flirt with '90 Mile Beach' and 'Silk' like old flames, before ducking into the stormier likes of 'The Wonderwhy' and 'Swallowtail' with all the passion of a newfound fling, their ruthless touring schedule sapping none of the life out of them. Backed by a twinkling backdrop of that near-iconic 'My Love Is Cool' artwork, every second is effortlessly slick, but never soulless - an 'x factor' missing from so many super-fast success stories of the scene.

A towering 'Giant Peach' closes proceedings, Ellie inviting a lucky audience member onstage to fill Theo's now-vacant role as her side-step partner. As the band leave the stage to that customary shower of gold confetti, Ellie's dance pal falling to her knees as the cannons erupt, it's all smiles. Words might be running dry for this first chapter of Wolf Alice, but as they turn their heads towards album two, there seems to be an endless ink-pot writing their future.

Photos: Sarah Louise Bennett

Tags: Wolf Alice, Reviews, Live Reviews

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