When a debut album is as good as Wolf Alice’s My Love Is Cool, the follow up can go one of two ways. Luckily for both the band and their fans, their second release Visions Of A Life managed to exceed expectations and so a sold out O2 Academy Leeds for live versions of the celebrated singles was a guarantee.
Before the night’s headliners were set to take the stage, Brooklyn based trio Sunflower Bean warm up the crowd with their psychedelia tinted jangly guitar riffs and 70s style rhythmic drums. Alternating between gritty Cherie Currie style vocals from bassist Julia, to smoother, rock’n’roll tones from guitarist Nick provided an inviting sound fit for the bill.
Beginning their set with their most recent single and album opener ‘Heavenward’, ethereal vocals and contrasting distorted drones of guitar engaged their audience from the first note, while the band themselves stood mostly stationary, cool, collected and still, entirely captivating. Sliding straight into the unapologetically raw and punk single ‘Yuk Foo’ followed by the equally as punk single, ‘You’re a Germ’ from their first record, complete with strobe lighting and the energy of the crowd replicating that of the fast-paced guitar sounds and vocal screeches, only three songs into their set and Wolf Alice have set the tone for the rest of the evening.
Known for their clashes of soft and harsher sounds, Wolf Alice’s live presence emulated that, with ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’ rousing the band to dominate and claim the stage and ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’ prompting lead singer Ellie Roswell to sit on the stage’s edge, delivering her spoken word lyrics directly to her fans under a blue disco ball shimmer. Seeing younger fans looking up in complete admiration and adoration for the band and their music, as lyrics were screamed and shouted and blatant emotion was worn on glitter-clad faces, it became clear that Wolf Alice are a band that mean a lot to their fans, and as their encore, which included ‘Blush’ and ‘Giant Peach’, signalled the end of their Leeds showcase, the raw passion of their performance showed that those feelings were mutual.
All images courtesy of Neil Vary
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