Gig time again!!! I’d been looking forward to this one for ages. Last time Wolf Alice toured I just missed out on tickets, so I was determined to see them this time. Luckily I was on high alert when they were released, and even luckier they were playing in Glasgow on a Saturday night. I even managed to rope in a friend to come with me.
I had, however, kind of double booked myself, as I was supposed to be doing volunteer work in Stirling on both Saturday and Sunday. I braced myself for long days and sleep deprivation on whole new levels, because I wasn’t going to miss out on seeing this band again. Who needs sleep? Or any kind of rest? Or even sitting down…?
So day one of working weekend completed, I got back on the train to Glasgow. I met up with Phil and we went for a pre-gig bite to eat. In fact we were too busy catching up over a burrito that we got to the Barras too late to see the first support. From the 30 seconds were heard, they sounded decent.
We visited the bar, and found a mid-way-back spot on the floor. Of course swarms of very tall people then moved in front of us, but that’s gig life when you are 5ft3 / 5ft4. There was a comedy moment later, when Phil went to the bathroom, I stayed in our spot and, in her words, she then had to try to find “the smallest person in the room” in a crowd of 2000 on the way back. I would argue, but…..
The second support was Sunflower Bean, who were new to me, but very good. Confident, grungy, with cool hooks and singable melodies.
The crowd were more than ready for the main act after this, the hall was full, everyone was jumping and the glitter ball was at the ready.
Wolf Alice were incredible. You can tell listening to their records that they are a band to be seen and heard live. The songs had so much more drive than they do on record and something about the immersive experience of a gig and the heavier live sound brought added depth and dimension to the songs.
They are apparently not a band for chit chat, so we got one song after another in quick succession, but the band communicated with the crowd through their music – changing the songs just that little bit to emphasise build ups, drops and sing-a-longs. There was a lot of sing-a-longs. In fact I felt like we were the only 2 people in the audience who didn’t know every single word.
The enthusiasm of the crowd wasn’t limited to those nearest the stage, it extended all the way to the back of the hall with everyone jumping, dancing and going a bit wild. I could have done without some of the enforced wildness (stop trying to create circle pits, it’s just annoying for everyone) but that’s part and parcel of a Barras crowd.
A few days before, Ellie had put a call out on Twitter asking for a local female guitarist to play her part on Moaning Lisa Smile. The winner was a 16 year old called Freya who was absolutely outstanding. She not only played the part perfectly, she owned that stage, jumping around with full-on rock moves. It was brilliant and so much fun to be a part of. Go Freya, we salute you!
They played for almost 90 minutes solid, only stopping for a short pause before a 2 song encore.
Afterwards we braved the bathroom and cloakroom queues then had to dash for our respective last trains. An excellent night of live music and I’m glad I can finally tick Wolf Alice off my list of bands to see.