There is undeniably a palpable sense of excitement as Wolf Alice take to the stage at Barrowlands. The venue is filled to capacity and chants of the band’s name reverberate around the hall. Wolf Alice are a hot ticket these days, having earned their spurs via the release of several EPs, before their debut album, My Love is Cool, finally emerged. Brit and Grammy award nominations have followed. All this and their song Moaning Lisa Smile was used on a promotional trailer for superhero TV show Arrow.
From the opening song of their set, Your Love’s Whore, they exhibit considerable energy and passion. Bass guitarist Theo Ellis in particular seems to be loving every minute and is at the edge of the stage, hamming it up for the crowd as he plays.
By and large, they proceed from one song to another with not much in the way of audience interaction or introduction to the songs. At the end of Bros, the fourth song of the set, an obligatory, ‘Glasgow, how you feeling?’ is offered from stage,
The songs are generally high energy (and pretty loud), and are lapped up enthusiastically by the crowd. The musical style of the band seems very 90s influenced and is more identifiably grunge rock than anything else. Technically, for large parts of the concert, the vocals are rather lost in the sound mix.
In one sense at least, this gig should come with a health warning, since bursts of strobe lighting feature to a degree that is overwhelming at times.
While the first half of the set consists of relentlessly high energy songs, the cumulative effect is subject to the law of diminishing returns. A change of pace, in a very literal sense, would be welcome. Eventually, an oasis of calm arrives in the form of the song The Wonderwhy. A couple of songs later, the hypnotically melodic Swallowtail follows. Both numbers demonstrate that Wolf Alice are not musical one-trick ponies.
The set ends with the impressive Moaning Lisa Smile, but there’s never much doubt about an encore. The band’s name is chanted relentlessly until they reappear. Before Giant Peach, the final encore, Ellis says: ‘Glasgow, you have no idea how much this means to us. First time we were here, we played to three people.’ Given the band’s current ascending trajectory, that’s unlikely to be repeated.