Saw “Wolf Alice” a couple of years back on their early ascendency into the world of pop/rock. Thought they were good then and it’s clear they have grown into a strong band, despite their youth.
This time they headlined at the Q awards at the Roundhouse and they played from both studio albums in equal measure with songs like “Germ” from the first album and “Beautifully Unconventional” from the second.
Their sound is bigger and inevitably a little more polished as they continue to get into that middle ranking space of bands that have “made it”. They categorise themselves as neither pop or rock but in a middle area and I think that’s accurate. I like some of the rockier numbers and equally the more ethereal breathy stuff demonstrates the range they have, particularly in Ellie Rowsell’s voice. That is clearly the USP they have supported by some catchy tunes.
I had seen enough after about 50 minutes to an hour and do think that really there are few bands that really need to do 90 minute set. I suppose they think they are giving value for money.
By contrast the support on the night were” Idles”. I’ve loved both of their albums but this was first time in the flesh. They are visceral, sweaty and angry. One of the guitarists insists in playing in just his underpants (not sure about the motivation).Their sound, like so many support acts, was not as clean as the headliners but it was a huge rush of energy and emotion. I rarely sing along but on this occasion I was shouting my head off to the anthemic post punk soundtrack. They are one of a number of bands who are trying to catch the current moment with songs about immigration, depression, abuse and xenophobia…Songs like “Mother” and “Samaritans “were perfect and received a strong crowd response.
They were joint breakthrough winners on the night with “Goat girl”. Next venues are going to be bigger for them and they inhabit the same sort of musical space as “Shame” or” The Spitfires”. Songs for the working masses if only they could take their eyes off their 50 inch screens for more than a second.