– TROF FALLOWFIELD, MANCHESTER –

It’s my first time at Trof in Fallowfield and I’m not quite sure what to expect. Here to catch North London’s garage pop-four piece Wolf Alice on tour in our fair city, I stumble up the awkwardly narrow staircase into a room full of well-dressed music enthusiasts decked in their finest furs and thick-rimmed glasses.

With two minutes until ten o’clock, the composed four-some tune their instruments as an eager crowd begins pushing closer toward the stage. I swear Trof is about to burst at the seams from the exhausting amount of Mancunians squeezed into one pint sized room, but alas, with the 1973 hit ‘Radar Love’ blasting through the house speakers, I can’t help but sneak off to the side to catch a better glimpse of a band I’ve heard could be London’s ‘next big thing’.

With no delay and not a word spoken, the gig starts off to the distorted and echoing sounds of the song ‘Storms’, a moody yet fetching tune I’m sure we will all eagerly await the online release for. Lead vocalist Ellie Rowsell strums her guitar and briefly acknowledges the too-cool-for-school crowd with a gravelly little “Alright Manchester! How are you doing?” Woo’s are wooed and nods are nodded as the band begin their second tune of the night – ‘Leaving You’, with its slow burning and bluesy essence filling the desolate holes in the room. Heads sway back and forth and the bar staff brings bassist Theo Ellis another beer, as he nods appreciatively at the kind gesture of alcoholic bliss. “I’m leaving you – it’s been a long time coming,” sings Ellie as she lullabies us into the next magnetic jam.

In true rock and roll spirit and just as I had hoped, the gig picks up that well-needed boost of energy during the next few songs. ‘Intro’ and ‘Bros’ serenade latecomers who are entering the dizzying torrent of the green strobe lights in the upstairs room of Trof.  After the deep and industrious chorus of Wolf Alice’s newly written song ‘Send An Angel’, the recognisable riff from ‘White Leather’ begins and becomes by far the band’s most sing-along worthy tune of the night. The crowd swings their hips and swigs their drinks to the next batch of songs titled ‘Stupid Bitch’ and ‘Nose Jive’ – their bright eyes fixated on Joff Oddie’s concentrated guitar playing and drummer Joel Amey’s effervescent beats.

Rowsell introduces the last song of the night with a quick “We like you Manchester!” as they explode into their newest single ‘Fluffy’, echoing in brilliance the reviews that it is their most raw and powerful song to date.

As they say, what’s old is new again and Wolf Alice are a band sure to be slugged into that category of the grunge revivalists we see so much of in today’s underground scene. The show was every bit as enjoyable as I had expected. Each song succeeded to fulfil its purpose of ear-noise fuelled by natural talent, though it was a gig that felt too short, even with a nine-song set I left needing more than a few crowd favourites and a two track EP from this little North London band. All in all, I’ll still be anxiously awaiting the release of a full length album.

Brit Jean

I'm known as Gigs Editor over here at Silent Radio HQ. I've been music blogging and writing in Manchester for the past few years after graduating with a Literature degree back home in Canada. Never have I experienced a city quite like Manchester - so many great gigs and so little time! In 2014 I started an Independent Record label, Blak Hand Records with my best mate, and we aim to put out some of our favourite garage rock and psychedelic artists from both Liverpool and Manchester. We're always looking for contributors so if you love music and writing, get in touch with us at Silent Radio! x