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The Wombats had fans jumping out of their seats and others falling off the stage

Australia have officially fallen in love with The Wombats.

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David Harris

Australia's favourite British three-piece, The Wombats have made yet another appearance on Australian shores with a run of headline shows and festivals. The honorary Australians graced an old favourite, the Palais Theatre in St Kilda, where they last played in 2011 following their sophomore album, This Modern Glitch. Finally catching them at the Palais compensated for the little 15-year-old inside who was too young to go eight years ago. 

Brisbane singer, Eves Karydas supported the night bringing her alt-pop to the large venue. A shy Karydas took a few songs to accustom herself to the scale of the room, before performing favourites ‘Hush’, ‘Couch’ and ‘Wildest Ones’ off her debut album, summerskin.

She grew into ‘Further Than The Planes Fly’ and at this point, the set had markedly intensified as triple j listeners in the room familiarised themselves with the songstress’ melodies.

It was then time for The Wombats, who arrived on stage just after 9pm. After lead singer, Matt Murphy, entered exclaiming for everyone to stand up, the British outfit kicked things off with a track off the newest album Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life, ‘Cheetah Tongue’. They then followed with the more recognisable ‘Give Me A Try’. Like many bands who started with strong early albums, it seems the older you get, the less likely you are to know their newer music – this could be said for The Wombats, with tracks from keepsake A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation naturally more popular and widely adored.

From the vantage point of the balcony, it was refreshing to see hardly anyone on their phones, especially with such a young audience. On that note, The Wombats have forged an enduring reputation. Although the band members are quickly reaching their mid-thirties, they still manage to resonate with new a generation of fans and connect with a younger crowd. They have a timeless nature. It isn’t hard to realise why The Wombats are consistently returning to Australia to play festivals and their own shows.

Although The Wombats have made a name for themselves in the indie/pop genre, they are still very rocky – don’t be too quick to judge. Especially played live, ‘Jump Into The Fog’ demonstrates the heavier sound the band can create. Conversely, an acoustic version of ‘Lethal Combination’ revealed another capability.

Flexing into more alternative dance, ‘Techno Fan’ was accompanied by an elaborate green light show – the energy of the crowd had reached a climax. Another crowd favourite ‘Your Body Is A Weapon’ followed – Murphy’s lyrics, “I like my job and I do it well”, specifically stood out. Over the years, the frontman has proven his live prowess – Murphy is not just a performer but a showman.

The Wombats finished off with their biggest track, ‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division’, with guests dressed as wombats joining them on stage. A mic drop signalled the end of the set and the band walked off. This was it, but wait…

With crew onstage tuning guitars it was pretty obvious an encore was in store. Cheering, clapping and pounding feet had the floor in the historic venue about to fall through. For a few more sweaty numbers, the crowd enjoyed an acoustic ‘Lethal Combination’, ‘Turn’ and ‘Greek Tragedy’, topped off with one of their wombat mascots falling off the stage – the band would keep their composure. Another Australian performance down, it’s not hard to see why The Wombats continue to return. This country loves them, and The Wombats love us.

Highlight: The Wombats’ live show is now a perfected art form.

Lowlight: No ‘Kill the Director’? Are you kidding me?

Crowd Favourite: ‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division’.

 
 
 
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A post shared by The Wombats (@wombatsofficial) on Nov 19, 2018 at 4:50am PST