Photography by Zach Hough

REVIEW: Wolf Alice for The BRIT Awards @ Gorilla

Hailed as one of the biggest acts of our generation, Wolf Alice have been in the running for Grammys, Mercury Prizes and Brit Awards across their eight year reign. Having stated this, the thought that the alt rock quartet would  ever again play a 600 capacity venue (especially at five pounds a pair of tickets) is one which wouldn’t have graced your mind. Take to centre stage; War Child in collaboration with The Brit Awards.

Since 1993, the acclaimed charity has worked tirelessly to bring aid to children affected by the circumstances of war-torn countries. In 2016, their support – as funded by generous donations – touched the lives of 109,000 children, young people and adults across the globe. The efforts of their teams of volunteers and aid-workers helps to re-home, protect and educate children after it seems like all is lost. In recent years, War Child have captured the attention of music fans in collaboration with The Brit Awards and O2, through a series of gigs performed by huge names including Florence + The Machine, Richard Hawley and The 1975. Each gig has been unique as they were each performed at local, low-capacity London venues for a considerably low ticket cost with all proceeds going to War Child UK. This year artists included Alt-J at The Garage, Jessie Ware at Bush Hall and Ed Sheeran at Indigo At The O2 amongst other fated acts. To please us Northerners and share the support for such a good cause, this year (for the first time) War Child and The Brits chose to venture outside of London and showcase one of these gigs at an independent venue even further afield – Wolf Alice at Gorilla, Manchester’s independent venue as run by the Mission Mars group.

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Having recently released their renowned second album; Visions Of A Life, Wolf Alice are thriving & seemingly going from strength to strength. The whimsical enchantment of the album proclaimed a new lease of life for the affirmed brit-rock band and their Brits night itself showcased the fantastical relevance that the group still hold over many an audience. After an introduction from War Child UK CEO: Rob Williams and a survivor of the 1990s Bosnian war and now member of the War Child youth council: Leila, Wolf Alice took to stage with the otherworldly trio of ‘Heavenward’, ‘Yuk Foo’ and ‘You’re A Germ’. The tracks initiated the aghast crowd into a frenzied awakening of movement and lip-syncing word-by-word to each song. This initial opening was unfortunately precluded with a technical glitch from guitarist Joff Odie’s pedal board, resulting in a twenty minute break to resolve the problem – though thankfully this only lead to one song being missed off the set-list.

The evening was a unanimous success and brought upwards of seven hundred pounds in funding for War Child, through the likes of conclusively indie power ballads like ‘Bros’, which lead to adoring glances between friends, fingers entwined and arms wrapped around waists with the hum of ‘Oh, I’m so lucky, you are my best friend’. Other anthems that tantalised the raucous energy that emulated from the front row were the likes of ‘Fluffy’ the invigoratingly sensational ‘Beautifully Unconventional’ and ‘Don’t Delete The Kisses’ from the latest album. To close the set, lead singer Ellie Rowsell eloquently took her crown as a rose amongst thorns as she began the mesmirsing husky vocals to the second song of their encore: Giant Peach, from the debut album. The finale saw her straddle the crowd, with their eyes a gaze and admiration a plenty, the sing-along came to an end with the final swoop of ‘My dark and pretty town’ which set feet to a standstill and a breathless post-excitement beam across faces.