Live Review: Wolf Alice (Portsmouth Pyramid Centre, 14/03/16)

Written for PORTSMOUTH NEWS, printed on 16th March 2016.

Wolf Alice’s Ellie Rowsell at Portsmouth Pyramid Centre. (Photo: Paul Windsor)

What should be expected of a band whose bassist adorns make-up that makes him look as though he is crying glitter? That emotional clash might just define tonight’s energetic performance.

Judging from the effect units besides guitarist Joff Oddie, Wolf Alice are well equipped to make some weird, wonderful and subtle sounds, and they do so with the atmospheric whispers of ‘Silk’ and ‘The Wonderwhy’.

However, come gritty rocker ‘You’re a Germ’, the white-lit stage springs to life – a strobing and pulsing, fiery red. Before the song is over, most of the band have already jumped off of the drum kit. Similarly, frontwoman Ellie Rowsell’s voice alternates rapidly, from a calm lament to furious howls.

“Let’s do this punk rock style” Joff truthfully sighs, after his guitar stops working before set closer ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’, forcing him to borrow Ellie’s. Not that she seems to be very upset, as with guitar duties removed, it is another opportunity to scale the stage barrier and disappear into the crowd.

Poking her tongue at the audience she surfs upon, never has anyone looked so happy to be so irritated. And so they should be. One must assume from the reaction of the packed Pyramids Centre, that Wolf Alice are welcome back any time.


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