It was the fourth night of Wolf Alice’s huge autumn UK tour and a buzz of excitement hung in the air outside of the Newcastle University buildings. Since their last visit to the city, the band have stormed countless festivals, made a gruesome horror-film video to their single ‘You’re A Germ’ and had their debut album go straight to number two in the UK charts. The creature they created three years ago has grown into a ferocious, sparkling beast.
Wolf Alice’s dressing room may have been tiny and a little on the messy side but drummer Joel and bassist Theo welcomed us in warmly and passed around some beers straight away. Ellie, wearing a baggy black dress and ripped tights, got up to greet us before the conversation somehow launched into an in-depth game of ‘Would You Rather?’
Turns out, they’d rather have lasagne for feet than spaghetti for hands and would much prefer to live in a giant crisp packet than inside a giant Creme Egg. It wasn’t until Theo came up with perhaps the most bizarre question of all, though, before we realised it was probably time to move on. Perched on a sofa arm in the corner, he casually wondered: “Would you rather be a shark with the inability to breathe underwater but lived underwater in a big tank full of oxygen – like a reverse aquarium – or would you rather be a dog?” No one could answer.
While this madness was fun, what I was really interested to hear about was their killer new video for ‘You’re A Germ’. “Oh, did you like it?! Making it was a lot of fun,” said Joel, going on to explain how it was Ellie’s idea but it just kind of escalated with time and got more and more intense. In the video, they’re challenged with hideous villains from masked axemen to zombies and clowns with chainsaws… It’s actually pretty terrifying.
As before, the conversation went off on a weird and wonderful tangent. In a real life horror situation, they came to the conclusion that Joel would be the first to go. “After a while of trying to survive, I’d be fighting but I’d just be like, ‘Everyone I love is dead,’ and I’d end up giving up,” he said. “Rory from Drenge would be great to have on your team through that though. His long hair would distract them!”
Theo continued, “If we’re talking who would die last if the video were real life, it’d definitely be Joff because he wouldn’t stick around to save anyone else. He actually once said to me, ‘Just so you know, if there’s ever a zombie apocalypse, I’m fucking out.’” Shaking his head and laughing, Joff reluctantly agreed.
Apart from their tour bus being hit by a Domino’s van the previous night, their run of autumn shows has so far been outstanding for them. “It’s been banging, the crowds have just been great,” Theo said as the wild ring of first support band Made Violent sounded from the stage. “You should check these guys out while you can by the way, they’re so, so good.”
And with that, it was show time. The line-up of fresh American rockers Made Violent, grungy trio Drenge and the mighty Wolf Alice made for a spectacular night of live music. Wolf Alice can move from the gentlest of ballads to screaming, thunderous riffs with such ease and each song is a crowd-pleaser. It’s no surprise their name is spreading like wildfire and I have a little feeling that this is just the start of a truly explosive career.
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Photo by Paul Hudson