Music Review: Wolf Alice at The Ulster Hall Belfast, November 2017

I won’t lie after last night’s gig in the Ulster Hall, I have a bit of a girl crush on Ellie Rowsell, lead singer of Wolf Alice. She is the heroic female rocker I always wanted to be in my teens, when I wished I was a combination of Gwen Stefani and Courtney Love. Last night the feisty, loud, guitarist and songstress took the roof of the Belfast venue with her bandmates Jeff Oddie, Theo Ellis and Joel Amey. I can only describe Wolf Alice live as being animated, full of angst and feral intensity they awoke my senses on a freezing cold Monday night in Belfast.

Described online as a four piece alternative rock band I feel it’s impossible to pigeonhole them into any such category, last night I think they embodied some of the punk legends which have strode the Ulster Hall stage before them. In fact bassist Theo Ellis teased with the audience more than a couple of times that he was going to smash a few guitars but never quite came to that last final blow. I also think every time I see this band I see a new side to them, I last saw them in the Californian Sunshine in Coachella in April 2016 and their sound seems to have grown in intensity since this time, or maybe it was just the smaller venue? Things can sound different in the desert. Anyway…

Touring their second Album Visions of a Life the audience cheered, stomped, sang along and bounced into a frenzy across the auditorium floor. The audience varied from hipster to old rocker and I couldn’t help but notice a couple of very animated very young little fans seated in the balcony who thoroughly enjoyed the set and where rewarded with plectrums and drumsticks by the band at the end of the show (very nice touch by Rowsell and Co.)

The band didn’t speak or interact much with the audience but they didn’t need to their music did all the work. They played a mixture of well-known hits including You’re a Germ, Beautifully Unconventional, Lisbon with lesser known hits Yuk Foo and Don’t delete the Kisses. Starting the set with Heavenward there were a lot of ebbs and flows throughout reflecting the bands catalogue of amped up snarling rock anthems and ethereal atmospheric indie tunes. Easy to see why this band are critically acclaimed and will be staying on my playlist for the new year.

Emer D xx

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