2nd June 2011
After their failed attempts to make the 18 hour, globe circumnavigating flight from their Melbourne homeland this time last year, Wolfmother finally make it unscathed to the UK for a long overdue tour appearance. It is not only their flight here which can turn back the clocks, their 60’s psychedelia infused hard rock sound firmly flings open the door of nostalgia almost as wide as the bands ever lengthening Woodstock tribute haircut’s.
Despite the trip down memory lane this was sure to be, tonight’s support came from the new furious punk poppers Turbogeist, last seen in a chaotic Camden Barfly not so long ago. It was a tough gig as the nights headline act’s musical tastes and their own have little crossover appeal. It’s not a shock to report that the docile crowd did not really seem all that interested. In this cavernous theatre their sound was less in your face and their choruses were not big enough to grab the required attention. A limp set from an exciting underground band unlikely to break out from the clubs on tonight’s showing.
Wolfmother had no such trouble in diverting eyes stage wards as the sound system bulged with huge power chords pumping out thumping drums, thundering guitars and heart pounding bass lines. Stockdale and co certainly look the part as they ply their trade as hard rock throwbacks with no sign of irony, just simple honesty and a dedicated retro love drip from their instruments all night long. Their guitars are colossal as they rumble through the deeper crunching spectrum with bulldozer like efficiency.
With so many expertly riffs each song inherently spark heads a bopping and caused a fair few circle pogo pits for the over enthused. The real key to their success tonight lies in their breakdowns. Many bands can play big and write big chorus’s, but Wolfmother marry this with wandering interludes of trip out psychedelia lulling the crowd into their world of dreamy soundscapes. Of course only to be send crashing back into the main riff for the next bout of ecstatic melodies at the pinnacle of these epic crescendo’s. I’m pretty sure every song had an extension of some sort.
They played the best of their two released LP’s including the guitar hero classic Woman, the manic boogie shuffle of Apple Tree and the hammer-on melody maker The Joker & The Thief. They also managed to throw in a brilliant cover of The Doors Riders On The Storm, complete with whacked out organ solo. During a jam they also somehow managed to culminate different underlying melodies into the solo and verse of Stairway to Heaven, thus completing tonights led zep homage and everybody’s incredibly enjoyable evening!
The Wolfmother ball will stay a rolling as long as there is desire for what has come and past…no time soon then!