Dream Wife


The first band on tonight are WhenYoung, a three-piece hailing from London. Throughout their performance, guitarist Niall Burns bounces around the stage with youthful exuberance, emitting grins and vibes of glee that you can’t help but soak up. This is exactly what is called for from a warm up and I’m glad to have caught their set. From what I hear of Dream Wife’s relentless live show, the energy will be needed. WhenYoung’s songs are, for the most part, infectiously upbeat, although they do have a scattering of less joyful numbers, with sombre subject matters such as the Grenfell Tower.

After only one support band, Dream Wife are next on the bill, quite early for a band that only has one album out, which makes me wonder if it will be hard for them to fill a whole night. That said, this one album is all that it’s taken to gain a following that has sold out the Deaf Institute. They are introduced by friend of the band, local writer Gina Tonic, before the lead singer, Rakel Mjöll makes her grand entrance. Instantly in full swing, Rakel owns the crowd during opening track ‘Hey Heartbreaker’, flickering from peppy hair flicks to attitude-laden lunges into the front lip of the stage, gazing over, and sizing up the onlookers.

Each track sounds just as tight as their debut self-titled album, released at the beginning of this year. Instantly catchy riffs on the track ‘Kids’ are picked incredible well by Alice Go, who is clearly having a blast throughout the show, dancing and jumping in perpetual motion. ‘Love Without Reason’ slows the tempo down a tad, but though softer than the more rapid tracks pelted out such as ‘Fire’, there is still the lively bassline provided by Bella Podpadec.

“All the bad bitches of Manchester” are invited to the front of stage, to dance and have fun, as Rakel calls the crowd to part, “like Moses”. As well as badass music and tunes, they are passionate about spreading information about Girls Against, a cause promoting the message to treat everyone at gigs with respect, and for women to be able to enjoy music shows without having to worry about harassment. An important message, and one that is eloquently spread in the standout song of the evening, ‘Somebody’, with impassioned lyrics, “I am not my body, I am somebody,” driving the point home.

Their musical back catalogue may have left them short on set length tonight, but they have shown a vaster range of music than a lot of bands could have done if given double the time. From catchy, bouncy pop to aggressive shrieks in ‘FUU’. The final track ‘Let’s Make Out’ even see’s drummer, Alex Paverley on his feet for dynamic bursts during the closing minutes of this energetic show. Dream Wife embody their “let loose” ethos, a powerful force of snappy music with a fiery edge.

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