In high spirits, to the point of chanting when I entered the room, Wolf Alice were about to embark on one of their closing nights of their UK 2016 tour, taking on Nottingham’s Rock City.
“I remember when we first played here for Dot to Dot and it seemed like the biggest venue we’ve ever played, and when we got on that stage earlier we were all like “this seems quite cramped”, but it’s definitely still a surprise when we sell out venues like this.” – Drummer, Joel Amey.
Prior to the headline band taking to the stage, Bloody Knees and, fan-base-brothers, Swim Deep were in charge of warming the crowds up- and ended up providing a hard set for Wolf Alice to follow.
“Bloody Knees and Swim Deep together make like the funnest time. They’re just great, they’re just buzzing to be on the road which makes everyone else happy to be around. They’re great guys, great bands as well.” – Drummer, Joel Amey.
“We have a similar fan base with Swim Deep, but because we were never actually from Birmingham it was quite weird for us how we got incorporated into the B-town scene. I remember that being really exciting that moment where loads of people were so excited.” – Bassist, Theo Ellis.
After over an hour of support, the London four-piece opened their set, presenting gentle-vocals on ‘Your Loves Whore’, before getting their teeth stuck into ‘You’re a Germ’, with screams that would wake up any dad who got dragged along by his 15-year-old daughter who needed to make the age limit.
‘Bros’ then sold the show, only four tracks in, providing the sentimentality in the set- despite the complete update of the track on the album and live, from the gritty single.
“It changed to fit into the album, it fits into the album better definitely.” – Bassist, Theo Ellis.
“We just wanted to change it.” – Lead Singer, Ellie Rowsell.
After constant touring in 2015, with their last one only being in September, their live-set pretty much portrays perfection. With album tracks sounding so clean, as though they’re just being played on someone’s I-pod touch backstage, yet with so much life now emerging from them.
“This tour’s been better. Just slicker, quicker load ins, everything’s working really good. But still loads of cock-ups. It’s been really good, the crowds have been amazing. And it’s quite a long one which is always fun ‘cause we usually seem to be in the UK for a little bit and then off somewhere else.” – Bassist, Theo Ellis.
Despite the set being faultless, with perfectly executed instrumentals and vocals for all parties and a set as pretty as their backdrop, there seemed to be a sufficient lack of new material.
“We’re always making songs on the laptop or whatever, but it’s all very preliminary stages. Album two is lots more pressure, just less working at it which is always a combination for success.
That’s my Alan Sugar moment.” – Bassist, Theo Ellis.
Old favourites and continual crowd pleasers ‘Fluffy’, ‘She’ and ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’ are followed by the band making a rapid exit which, without the hint of the lights remaining dimmed, left fans confused on how much longer they’d be in the presence of the band. However in true gig-etiquette, the band returned to the stage to finish with a, surprisingly mellow, encore- with the exception of screaming closer ‘Giant Peach’.
It’s clear Wolf Alice are a band with such an on-going schedule; whether it’s touring, jumping in and out of worldwide festivals, or in the studio recording new tracks. However, don’t worry if you’re reading this sat in the library, trying to procrastinate your way out of your dissertation, whilst lusting for this life. Apparently you can do both at once.
“Yeah I did both, I think the good thing about Uni is obviously it’s a lot of work but a lot of the time it’s not as hard work as having to work a full time job, so you have got time to do your hobbies and things if you just choose and spend your time wisely and maybe write some songs instead of going out to The Bop or whatever it is, those student nights.” – Guitarist, Joff Oddie.
“The Bop?!” – Bassist, Theo Ellis.