It’s always interesting (read: odd) when the least gregarious member of a band happens to be the vocalist. I’d seen some live footage of recent Mercury Prize-winners Wolf Alice before I headed into The Corner, so I knew that birdlike frontwoman Ellie Rowsell wasn’t necessarily going to put on the kind of raucous performance the Yuk Foo clip suggests is in her somewhere.
We were a good five songs deep sans banter before bassist Theo Ellis forged a passionate connection with a crowd which was so very already in love with the four-piece. “We’ve been here before and we played to almost nobody, so to play to this many people over two nights is unreal,” he hollered, positively beaming, before hurling himself across the stage for You’re A Germ (from debut album My Love Is Cool, 2015).
The point is, however, that Rowsell still manages to be captivating on the strength of her stunning voice; she hit every note with the effortless precision of William Tell’s arrow through an apple, from the soaring melodies in Don’t Delete The Kisses to the contemplative spoken word parts and operatic ambience of St. Purple & Green, to jaunty corker Beautifully Unconventional.
Ultimately the act proved that their songs absolutely stand up in a live setting, and a hugely appreciate audience (which often screamed “Mercury Prize!” between songs or lyrics loyally shouted towards the stage) are clearly pumped for the next chapter in the arc of this terribly talented band’s story.
Visions Of A Life by Wolf Alice is out now via Liberation.