Glasgow was in for a big treat on Thursday night as some of the most iconic rock bands from the 1970s were due to perform in Scotlands premier live muRead More
The Wombats arrive at the iconic Barrowland Ballroom for two sold-out gigs at the mid-point of their biggest UK tour to date, hot off the back of a gargantuan show at London’s O2 Arena. Now in their fifteenth year since their debut album, ‘A Guide To Love, Loss & Desperation’, they have transcended the lazy ‘landfill indie’ tag branded to many of their peers with their knack for witty lyrics and relentless hooks. After a thoroughly modern career second wind from the remix of ‘Greek Tragedy’ going viral on TikTok, their latest album ‘Fix Yourself, Not The World’, released this year, gave the trio their first UK number one.
It may be Easter Monday, but there is no sign of any bank holiday hangovers as the crowd are already going wild for stars-in-waiting Sports Team who support this evening. Despite the derivative subject matter of songs about motorways and Ashton Kutcher, vocalist Alex Rice leads a full throttle performance diving in and out the crowd and ensuring the Barrowlands faithful are suitably warmed up for the headliners.
The Wombats begin their set with a pulsating ‘Flip Me Upside Down’ soaring from a pounding bassline into the first of an abundance of catchy choruses.
The band’s recent viral success has led to a horde of new fans discovering them and a thundering ‘Moving To New York’, originally released in 2006, is rapturously received by a venue packed with those barely old enough to remember its release.
The energy from the band is relentless, with bassist Tord Øverland Knudsen in particular giving back as much energy as the frenzied crowd give him. Lead vocalist Matthew ‘Murph’ Murphy requests the crowd “get filthy tonight”, and they duly respond with a mass singalong on ‘Cheetah Tongue’ and the frontman can hardly get his words out through his beaming smile.
The pace is set on full-throttle for most of the evening, and the synth-driven ‘Techno Fan’ and ‘Jump Into The Fog’ are delightfully good fun. The chorus of the latter sounds humongous within the confines of the star-studded Barrowland roof.
After Murph takes a solo lead of a rousing rendition of ‘Lethal Combination’, the band re-joins for a terrific ‘Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves)’ before ending the main set with crowd favourite ‘Greek Tragedy’.
The slow-build of ‘Method To The Madness’ begins the encore, before the venue erupts as soon as the scratching intro to ‘Let’s Dance To Joy Division’ begins. Undeniably an indie dancefloor classic, it is performed at a hundred miles an hour tonight. As if this wasn’t entertaining enough, two people in Wombat costumes enter the stage and pogo alongside the band, ramping up the energy levels beyond haywire.
After finishing on ‘Turn’, The Wombats leave the stage as the walls drip with adulation (and lots of sweat), with another sold-out Barrowlands awaiting them to do it all again twenty-four hours later.
The Wombats’ catalogue doesn’t tend to stray far from the tried-and-tested and often sounds formulaic, however the hits are well-spread throughout the set, ensuring that the fanbase, old and new, go home happy.
A photo gallery of the show is available to view at the following link (All Photographs courtesy of Stewart Iain Fullerton Photography):
Click Here for the full gallery
Review by Graham McCusker
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