Live Review: Wolf Alice
Online Music Editor George Ward reviews Wolf Alice’s gig at Plymouth Pavilions.
Wolf Alice know exactly what they are doing at this point. They play on stage with such confidence and skill that you can’t help but have a great time. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise; they’ve been around since 2010, have released three critically acclaimed albums, have won the Mercury Prize and are currently playing a sold-out UK tour before heading to America. They are the kind of band that it’s difficult to dislike but it’s not until you see them live that you appreciate how strong they really are.
Opening for Wolf Alice was Matt Maltese, a lovely London singer/songwriter who recently blew up massively, after his song ‘As The World Caves In’ went viral on TikTok, leaving him with even more monthly Spotify listeners than the band he supported. His set was brilliantly relaxed, with songs from across all three of his albums and he sang at his piano, supported by only drums and bass. With anecdotes about his bandmates, a surprise rendition of the Succession theme tune and an emotional performance of his most famous track, he could easily play a gig this size on a headline tour.
Seeing these tracks live remind you just how good Wolf Alice are at writing a chorus and how much control Ellie Roswell has over each one.
Wolf Alice kicked off their set with the banger ‘Smile’, sounding seriously heavy paired with the intense strobe lights. The lighting throughout was fantastic, with strobes, colours and even a spotlight singling out lead singer Ellie Roswell in an angelic glow.
The band can definitely do both loud and quiet. While I definitely preferred their louder tracks like ‘Smile’ or ‘Play The Greatest Hits’, they were brilliant on slower ones like favourites ‘Delicious Things’ and ‘Lipstick on the Glass’ from their 2021 album Blue Weekend. Seeing these tracks live remind you just how good Wolf Alice are at writing a chorus and how much control Ellie Roswell has over each one.
The highlight for me though was the band’s encore where they played ‘The Last Man on Earth’ and ‘Don’t Delete the Kisses’. ‘The Last Man on Earth’ doesn’t jump out as one of the tracks from Blue Weekend that would be great live but it really worked on the night. It’s a lovely song and Ellie’s performance of it was just as lovely.
The energy from both the band and the crowd was warm but excitable
‘Don’t Delete the Kisses’ was the perfect closer. It is my favourite Wolf Alice song and its lyrics of teenage love never get old. Hearing this song that was so important to me when I was younger live was a really special moment and, by the looks of things, most of the crowd felt the same. The energy from both the band and the crowd was warm but excitable and it made me really happy to be able to go to gigs again.
Catch Wolf Alice live on their remaining UK tour dates, before they head to America. Wolf Alice are also playing at Reading and Leeds and Glastonbury festival this summer.