The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Live Review: Wolf Alice

Wolf Alice team up with War Child UK and the BRITS to deliver a wild night full of ferocity that had the crowd howling for more


Following the release of their hugely successful sophomore album back in September last year, London rockers Wolf Alice made a triumphant return to the small stage of Gorilla last week in aid of War Child. Following in the footsteps of their fellow label counterparts The 1975 (who played an equally small venue last year), the band delivered a night full of energy and emotion all for a great cause. What’s not to love?

Opening with the dreamy ‘Heavenward’, Wolf Alice managed to lull the crowd in a trance-like state before packing a heavy punch with the riotous ‘Yuk Foo’.  There was barely a moment to breathe between the two songs, and to see the audience dive in to a complete frenzy at the strum of a single chord is always a sight to behold.

Technical difficulties with one of the guitars caused the group to leave the stage but after ten minutes they were back and seemingly more energised than before. Steadily, the band churned out hit after hit from both of their studio albums that took everyone on a rollercoaster of emotions, from melancholy to manic.

Their performance was heightened due to the fact they were all so electrifying. Theo Ellis on bass was almost animalistic at points, glaring into the crowd and enticing them to jostle about. Frontwoman Ellie Rowsell herself was absolutely mesmerising and her vocal range beyond impressive. When she stepped into the crowd to deliver a piercing shriek towards the end of ‘Giant Peach’, the crowd went absolutely wild.

But of course, the best moment of the night came when ‘Bros’ was played. In a rare turn of events, all signs of moshing vanished and instead something beautiful took place. Friends grabbed each other, couples embraced and all around were people beaming from ear to ear, singing along to Rowsell’s tale of friendship. It was a genuinely heart-warming moment, made even more special by the small venue and the sense of collectiveness that came with being there.

It’s rare that such massive bands return to smaller venues, and this made the night even more memorable. Both the band and the audience relished in the opportunity to cram in to a smaller setting. At some points the band were almost inaudible due to everyone in the crowd chanting the lyrics back at them. It was an absolute pleasure to see Wolf Alice again, and I’d try catch them before they inevitably go on to headline arenas.