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Nostalgic euphoria was the flavour of the night when Wombats came to town

Originally forming in Liverpool in 2003, The Wombats – made up of Liverpool-born Matthew Murphy (lead vocals, guitar and keyboard), Daniel Haggis (drums) and Norwegian-born Tord Øverland Knudsen (bass) – performed a vibrant show to celebrate the tenth year anniversary of their debut album A Guide to Loss, Love and Desperation.
 
Local artist Jarrow opened the night. Jarrow (AKA Dan Oke), with band in tow, performed an excellent, tight set. Their garage pop lyrics and sound was a brilliant choice to get the crowd warmed up.
 
The Wombats played an outstanding set. Packing in hits from all three albums, their set list strongly embraced songs from their debut. As soon as the opening lyrics from Kill the Director rang out, the audience waskicked into a nostalgic euphoria, dancing and singing along.  
 
This mood was sustained for the entirety of the gig with 1996, Lost in the Post and Your Body is a Weapon being played to everyone’s delight. The standout was their one “slow” song Little Miss Pipedream, which slowed the dancing shoes down and instead saw the audience swaying with their phone torches on. The result was that the entire venue looked like it was filled with fireflies swaying along to honeyed “dododoos” and “oooohs”.
 
The band’s energy and genuine charisma echoed throughout the night. Knudsen danced around the stage while playing bass and Murphy utilised every corner of the space. Their banter was incredibly sweet, connecting with punters so intimately in a 5,000+ capacity venue is a skill that takes years to master.
 
The only lowlight of the entire gig was the encore. Not the encore itself, but the expectedness that there would be an encore. It was well known by the band, the venue and the audience that there would be an encore; we’re not going anywhere without hearing Dance to Joy Division. Withholding such a tuneuntil an encore was demanded was slightly cruel. Thankfully they brought out the big guns with this song, accompanied by confetti machine, making it an excellent ending to a wonderful gig.
 
Words by Rose Maurice
Image by Jaz Meadows
 
Highlight- Little Miss Pipedream
Lowlight- The trend of an encore being expected and withholding the most popular song until it’s demanded. Bands need to stop doing this.
Crowd Favourite: Let’s Dance to Joy Division but of course it was going to be the favourite. It’s a fantastic song.