Wolf Alice Blows Away the Barras

by Gemma Murphy (she/her)

Despite St Valentine’s Day being the night before, love was still very much in the air last night. The crowd roared in admiration for London band Wolf Alice as they entered the Barrowlands stage, cool and collected in all black. 

No messing around as they jumped straight into their first tune, “Smile” from their most recent album Blue Weekend.  This cool punk number immediately grabbed our attention and got us moving. Hundreds of heads bobbing in time as the light flashed harshly from white to green matching the vibe of the song’s music video perfectly. 

Swiftly followed by “You’re a Germ” another high energy song but with moments of soft vocals. This contrast of heavy music and gentle vocals seems to almost be Wolf Alice’s signature. But singer Ellie Roswell is by no means limited, this girl can scream. Roswell’s voice is like a chameleon adapting to her quick changing surroundings. Also playing guitar, she is one extremely talented woman. 

It was as if Rowsell was one minute serenading us and then the next sending us into battle amongst the mosh pits that arose. The audience at the mercy of her weapon, her voice. She had the whole of the Barras in the palm of her hand, complete control of the audience as if we were the choir and she was the orchestrator.  The crowd was mixed, young, old, dads and daughters. Wolf Alice seem to bridge the gap between heavy metal that our dads born in the 70’s love and the indie/alternative vibe that has our generation in a chokehold. 

Guitarist Joff Oddie and bassist Theo Ellis planted at either side of her like her hype men, always engaging with the audience, encouraging us to shout, clap, sway, move. It was so incredibly clear to see that they love what they do, and it became contagious. At times I found myself smiling as I watched Theo and his bright pink bass strap bounce around the stage. 

However, for “No Hard Feelings” it was just Ellie and guitarist Joff on stage, but he had switched to bass. For this stripped back song Ellie sat down at the front of the stage and really connected with the audience, somehow turning this nearly 2000 people capacity venue into the most intimate of settings. It really was a treat. 

After a heavy “Visions of A Life” the band re-entered for their two-song encore and began with “Last Man on Earth” – my personal favourite. 

And then the one everyone was waiting for, “Don’t Delete the Kisses”. Shoulders became a seat for their mates as bodies rose above the sea of heads. Every audience member becoming the star of their own coming of age movie as they shouted back “What if it’s not meant for me!” hands in the air. Content.

Three sold out nights in the Glasgow Barrowlands is a massive achievement and this band deserve every bit of recognition they get. It seems hard to see how this band can get any better but there’s no doubt they will.