The Deaf Institute
19th February 2011
As the show started and timid guitars gathered together to create a melancholic atmosphere, a fellow spectator echoed my thoughts and turned to ask: “Is this Wolf People?” Undeniably, it was. This minimal, almost shy entrance was immediately juxtaposed by the introduction of the anthemic ‘Silbury Sands’ and a raw, guitar-based aggression was installed.
At times I found myself returning to the heavy rock heaven of the early ‘70s and, dare I say it, a slight tinge of Led Zeppelin was evident in certain moments, as towering guitar riffs and booming bass lines resonated throughout the jam-packed Deaf Institute. This rhetoric is no more apparent than in the work of Tom Watt on drums. Thrashing away in a manner not too dissimilar to our favourite ape off the Cadbury’s advert, he still maintained perfect rhythm and control. Paradoxically to the music however, Jack Sharp’s sweet, soft vocal tones cut through the chorus of guitar-fuelled frenzy with ease.
With arguments abound that guitar music is dying a slow death and is soon to be replaced by the dubstep and dance generation, Wolf People provide a performance with great energy and vigour to show that there is still a need for bands such as these and (certainly for me) there’s still great joy to be gained from seeing them. Although it can be seen as nothing that we haven’t heard before (distinct comparisons to Jethro Tull are not without grounding), there was still a great pleasure to be had from the ability of the musicians and their talent to hold your attention. In spite of all this, there is still the prominent feeling that Wolf People’s progressive, instrumental sound is never likely to break onto the wide-scale audience but the rapturous reception here is stark proof that the crowd left fully satisfied.