Something made me want to be at this show. A great second record that proved a giant step forward and not a (weaker) rehash of a fine debut record and a vibe I sort of felt within me. My expectations were so high that during the first two, three songs I was totally disappointed. The music sounded flat, the audience hardly responded to that fine punk song 'Yuk'. Is this it?, I was asking myself.
From that exact moment things started to change. The band stepped up its efforts. Bass player Theo Ellis stepped forward and started to waive his arms high, like shouting out "come on, you guys! We are going to give it our whole, so join in". The response was instantaneous. There was no looking back. With every song the audience was responding louder, started jumping up and down, spontaneous handclapping and sing-along moments. I found myself enthralled and encapsulated by Wolf Alice's music. With each further song I found myself thinking: 'Don't let this be the last one'. That moment came inevitably of course.
The other attraction of the band is the guitar of Joff Oddie. It's almost like the guitar plays him instead of the normal proceedings concerning guitar players. The instrument went places it wasn't supposed to go, surprising its player it seemed every once in a while. Oddie is one of those players who lays down sonic storms, strange effects and whatever it takes to get the effect needed. The two are one making it nearly indistinguishable who does what. A treat to watch.
If something became clear to me, it is that Wolf Alice was not just playing a show. This is a band on a mission. Everything has to go for the greater goal. The band is ready for greater things. The songs and the instruments are so ingrained that the individual members can all perform next to playing. That made it so surprising that something in the audience made singer Ellie Rowsell laugh and could not stop so she just skipped a part of the song, while playing here guitar laughing. It showed that there is still a human side to Wolf Alice.
Friday 3 November 2017. Time will tell whether this was an evening of legends. Like U2 or UB40 shows when I was much younger in the Countdown studio. There's only one doubt: where were the youths? The average age must have been well over 30 from where I was standing. For the rest, what a great band Wolf Alice is. It lived up well above my expectations. It was so good. To take something by storm? Well, I watched it happen (to me).