Reading & Leeds 2014

Wolf Alice live up to the occasion at Reading 2014

London band act like their Festival Republic spot is the biggest of their lives, but there’s more to come.

It’s not exactly a back catalogue they possess, given the time Wolf Alice have been around, but on their Reading & Leeds debut they handpick brilliantly between the (relatively) old and the refreshingly new. All signs point forward, too - it’s in the previously unheard material that they cement themselves as a fixture of this festival. No doubt about it - this will be the first of many R&L appearances, and they’ll only become bigger occasions along the way.

As it stands, the London four-piece still treat their mid-afternoon set like it’s the biggest of their lives, and despite Glasto triumphs and a memory-etching UK tour with Superfood and Gengahr, it probably is. Bassist Theo Ellis looks like he’s seen a ghost, while singer/guitarist Ellie Rowsell screams her way into the set. It begins with ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’, a thrashing reminder that when they’re fierce, bruised and grizzly in execution, they’re an entirely different band. ‘Bros’ is all arms aloft and handclaps, but even by its perfect festival-ready standards, it’s toppled by the nigh-on terrifying ‘She’. One of their first singles, ‘Fluffy’, is even more dagger-like in delivery. When Wolf Alice howl, they put everything else to shame.

‘Blush’ that takes things that one step further. Balancing the soft and the brutally harsh - Wolf Alice’s two distinct halves - it prompts a singalong to topple all others, Ellie Rowsell’s vocal living up to the occasion by flying straight out of the bustling tent. It’s a special moment, but it won’t be the last. There’s no stopping this band, and even if they continue to treat moments like these like the finest of their careers, they’ll be met headfirst by something even more incredible.

For all DIY's Reading & Leeds coverage, head here.

Tags: Wolf Alice, Reading & Leeds, Festivals, Reviews, Live Reviews

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