I was fortunate enough to stumble (literally) upon Wolf Alice playing at the Beat-Herder Festival earlier in the year.
Close to witching hour, my legs were heavy, my mind hazy but their set, somehow, stayed with me.
Enough so that I spent the proceeding weeks scouring YouTube unearthing Wolf Alice gem after gem.
On Wednesday night they played Manchester’s Club Academy, blasting through an hour-long set which captivated from start to finish.
Thirty seconds into opener “Storm” there was barely a soul stood still. “She’s” rumbling bassline and soaring chorus kept the temperature rising before the haunting bridge, brought to life by Ellie Rowsell’s ghostly vocals, offered the evening’s first respite.
Rowsell casts a diminutive figure on stage but her voice can certainly fill a room – delicate and melodic in parts, savage and unmerciful in others.
The set borrows heavily from EPs “Blush” and “Creature Songs” but also features a number of new tracks.
No Wolf Alice song sounds the same. The journey home from the gig was spent attempting to shoe-horn their sound into a genre. The morning after I’m still no closer. They have been described by Clash as “the lovechild of folk and grunge”. Throw in a pinch of pop and a dash of rock and you’ve something close to the Wolf Alice recipe.
“Moaning Lisa Smile” is a prime example. Simplistic verses driven by drums leading to a chorus dipped in grunge, begging to be sung along to before the charming “Bros” shows off their softer, sweeter side.
“Blush” is a beautiful track. It’s gentle beginnings growing into a spectral haze of shoegazing wonder; not one “punch drunk, dumb struck, pot luck happy happy” missed by those in attendance.
“Fluffy” finishes the set off in a flurry of noise as a sweat-soaked crowd lap up the band’s final offering.
Wolf Alice’s debut album is set to land soon. I don’t have a clue where they will be come this time next year but I hope I’m there watching.