The Wombats at Sheffield O2 Academy, October 4th

In 2003 at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, Matthew Murphy, Dan Haggis and Tord Øverland-Knudsen formed The Wombats.  Four years later they released their first album, “The Wombats Proudly Present: A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation” . The album featured singles such as Let’s Dance to Joy Division, Moving to New York and Backfire at the Disco.   After disappearing for a few years, The Wombats  returned with new singles Techno FanJump into the Fog and Anti-D leading up to their eagerly anticipated second album entitled, “This Modern Glitch”  . To accompany the new album, The Wombats began their European tour (The Wombats Proudly Present… This Modern Glitch) in Norway during March of this year before coming back to the UK in September.

Norwegian band, Team Me

Morning Parade

Having played Lincoln the night before, The Wombats arrived in Sheffield to a sell-out show on Tuesday 4th October.  After some waiting around we were introduced to the first support band, Team Me, a lively six-piece from Norway.  They were friendly, and genuinely seemed glad to be there, playing happy pop songs similar to those of Givers or even Vampire Weekend (to an extent). Whether you like that sort of music or not, they managed to get everyone moving and ready for The Wombats (or at least the next support act).

Up next: Morning Parade. Different in sound to Team Me, Morning Parade heavily used guitar and drums. Most people were just standing around (occasionally swaying and clapping politely at what sounded like the end of songs), however I can’t say that they were particularly memorable. They weren’t terrible, but they faced the dilemma of all support acts – the crowd just aren’t that interested.  So although Morning Parade weren’t exactly bad, they were more ‘background music’ to our anticipation for The Wombats.

At half past nine, the lights went dark and the crowd hushed – this was the moment we had all been waiting for, through what felt like hours and hours of standing around and support acts.  The Wombats opened with Our Perfect Disease.  Sounding every bit as good as they do on the albums, the band knocked out classics such as Moving to New York and Party in a Forest (Where’s Laura?) leading them easily into newer songs like Girls/Fast Cars and Schumacher the Champagne.

The crowd were dedicated fans and sang along to every line as proven in, My First Wedding when front-man Murph let the crowd take the lead in repeating the humorous and anecdotal lyrics, “She’s not that beautiful, she’s not that beautiful. She’ll steal your mind first, then your car.”

After playing for an hour the band took a well deserved break, but were called back with chants of ‘We want more’ and also ‘Yorkshire’, to which they returned and dedicated their encore to Yorkshire by going straight into single, Anti-D, followed by one of their first singles, Let’s Dance to Joy Division and then finally ending the night with Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves).

The Wombats were funny, impressive, but above all indescribably better live than I could ever have imagined.  Personal highlights of the night included Techno Fan, to which green lasers flooded the ceiling and got everyone jumping about, their new single 1996 and also one of my favourites from the first album, Patricia the Stripper.

On reflection of the night I found that the band played a good majority of their first album and their entire second album which I believe is something to be marvelled at as so many bands and artists these days refuse to play the less known early album tracks that are favourites of so many.  All in all, I have to admit that The Wombats were truly incredible and I would recommend seeing them to anyone.

By Meaghan Spencer

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