LIVE REVIEW: Wolf Alice @ O2 City Hall, Newcastle (28.02.22) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Brian Nicholson

It’s always a peculiar moment when a band you have grown with, whose own mounting success has soundtracked your growth from adolescence to adult, suddenly draw a truly substantial crowd.

Touring their Brit-winning 2021 release, Wolf Alice are pretty irrefutable at this stage. The indie quartet have gained traction for their versatile and emotive catalogue that lends itself to a variety of emotions, influences and inspirations. 

Marching onto the stage of Newcastle’s O2 City Hall, the band set the venue ablaze. The phenomenal vocals of Ellie Roswell stand as the cornerstone of the band’s success, confidently flickering from daring belts to lilting laments with a prowess that is nothing short of breathtaking. Eclipsing her fellow bandmates, there was something oddly performative and grand about Roswell’s theatrics, often clad in a single spotlight. 

With each performance seeing the singer grow into one of the country’s strongest torch bearers, the night feels less of a Wolf Alice production and worryingly more single-minded. Appealing to a larger audience, the show darted from grunge homages to subtle acoustic tracks. Often clunking from one direction to the next, the show occasionally felt manufactured and less organic than previous performances.

When the show reached its climactic and affecting encore, it was apparent that Wolf Alice are no longer my little secret, but instead one of Britain’s most beloved and potent bands, who are moments away from cataclysmic success.

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