REVIEW: Wolf Alice at O2 Guildhall

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Wolf Alice. (Credit: Ian Cheek)
Wolf Alice. (Credit: Ian Cheek)

Wolf Alice have been loudly making a name for themselves over the past few years, from scooping up various awards to soundtracking blockbuster films.

The acclaimed alternative rock band from London performed to a sold-out show at Southampton Guildhall on Monday. It was a real pleasure to be there.

Southampton's Guildhall was packed, and it was clear to see that Wolf Alice had a very endearing fan base.

A talented and versatile group, Wolf Alice's fans are well deserved.

In the past, Wolf Alice have simply described themselves as 'rocky pop'. Although accurate, I feel Wolf Alice are being far too modest here.

Musically, it was such a chaotic performance but in such a good way, that really showcased Wolf Alice's diversity and always kept the audience guessing as to what kind of track was going to be played next.

The chaos lies in how Wolf Alice can alternate between more pop-orientated songs before suddenly switching to very heavy rock.

Lead singer Ellie Rowsell has a beautiful, powerful voice. When Wolf Alice played their more pop-ballad style songs, Rowsell had you hanging on every word, delivered in her playful style at times. At times she froze the audience with her vocals, mesmerising them, whilst the rest of the band helped set the tone too of course.

At times, Rowsell's voice was almost like a lullaby. Without warning however, Wolf Alice would completely change styles to hard rock. The switch up was seismic every time. The crowd were no longer frozen by Rowsell's lovely voice but very much energised and keen to show it. The front rows became quite moshy. Rowsell was very capable of alternating her vocals from sweet and soft to powerful and punky.

Wolf Alice strive to create a very atmospheric, mildly psychedelic and almost cinematic musical experience. It was quite entrancing. Full credit to other band members, guitarist Joff Oddie, bassist Theo Ellis and drummer/synthesizer Joel Amey for being instrumental in providing this captivating atmosphere.

Considering their cinematic style, you can see why Wolf Alice provided the theme tune for 'Trainspotting 2' and arguably their most famous song, 'Silk'. A beautiful song that got the audience cheering as soon as they realised what was coming.

My personal favourite was 'Formidable Cool'. Quite an indie rock number, Joff Oddie was fantastic on guitar and got the crowd grooving, whilst Rowsell really showcased her vocal range with this song, starting out soft spoken before building up into quite the crescendo. Rowsell has got some very powerful vocals.

"How's that for a Monday?", Guitarist Joff Oddie proudly declared after a truly roof-raising performance.

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