Live: The Wombats @ Apollo
By Jon Taylor
3 & 1/2 stars
It’s a tiny bit bizarre how The Wombats have managed to take four years to release a follow up album to their debut, ditch the guitars for a more synth-pop direction and still, somehow, be able to sell out venues as big as the 02 Apollo. Given the cluster of landfill indie bands that broke out around the same time as the Liverpool 3-piece, few would have predicted that such a feat was possible, and would have expected them to have fallen by the wayside, joining the likes of the Ting Tings of this world.
However, playing their final show of a huge UK tour, tonight shows the key to The Wombats’ success to be the fact that they are pretty damn good at writing really catchy pop songs. Set opener ‘The Perfect Disease’ precedes hit track ‘Kill the Director’, setting the tone for the evening as the Apollo’s packed out crowd- which was admittedly 90% made up of 14 year olds clearly overly excited to be at their first ever gig- bounce all the way throughout the night. The vibrant atmosphere even manages to spread to the seated area upstairs where everyone was on their feet for the entirety of the show.
Songs from this year’s sophomore record This Modern Glitch go down well and, despite at times feeling like you were listening to an Inbetweeners soundtrack, older songs such as ‘Moving to New York’ and set closer ‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division’ also got the young crowd jumping.
Impressive lighting and Muse-esque lasers reaffirm that this band are (surprisingly) really big these days and although they’re never going to be artistically credible, The Wombats know what sells and clearly aren’t ready to fade away into obscurity just yet. Their fanbase are still there and, as tonight proves, teenage girls are suckers for catchy tunes and messy hair.