Wolfmother bites back
A few years ago I remember listening to the radio and being blown away by what I was hearing. The tune in question was called “Woman” by a band called Wolfmother. I was so impressed that on my next visit to the shops I purchased their self titled debut album. It had Led Zeppelin sound running right through it and I loved it. A second album, Wolfmother, Electric Citizen, Bristol 02, 02 Academy, Bristol, gig, concert, UK followed before the band split and I never had the chance to see them live during this time so when I heard they were back with a new album and tour it was one of those must see gigs.The new album still has a strong Zeppelin vibe and it’s raw energy gives it an edge over most overproduced pop rock metal.
After being held up for the best part of an hour in roadworks I finally arrived just in time for the support band.
Unusually for this tour there is only the one support slot and this has been filled by Cincinnati rockers Electric Citizen.
As Electric Citizen made their way onto the Academy stage there were still lots of fans trying to get into the venue who had been held up by the strong security process. Some people probably complained about the extra security but with recent events around the World I for one am glad that the Bristol 02 is taking the safety of its customers seriously.
With people still appearing through the doors I was amazed at the size of the crowd that were packed tightly into the 02 and how enthusiastic they were to greet Electric Citizen.
This is a new band to me but I liked what I heard and although their sound didn’t seem to be mixed correctly it was still clear to see that they have a lot of talent to offer. Having just released their second album Higher Time, they seem to be a band on the up and their stage presents clearly showed this.
The recent addition of a keyboard player seems to suit the band well and their classic sounding rock had the audience pumping as the band set about making a name for themselves. I’ve got to say it’s not very often I see a venue this packed for a support band and I think Electric Citizen acknowledged this feat with a fine performance. Unfortunately they only got to play a few songs in their thirty minute set and although I would have liked to hear more, it was Wolfmother everyone had come to see. It’s just a bonus and whoever picked them out for the support deserves a pat on the back.
The usual break ensued whilst the stage was readied for Wolfmother and some twenty minutes later, at 9, Wolfmother appeared.
They were met with a thunderous applause and as I looked around the venue there didn’t seem to be a space left anywhere in the venue. Hands were raised and the main standing area became a sweaty, swaying mass as they moved from side to side. The sound was perfect and after just a couple of songs it was evident that we were in for one hell of a night. The songs came thick and fast and each were met with more and more excitement.
The band’s lineup has changed throughout the years with founding member, Andrew Stockdale being the only constant and it is he who shone brightest. His vocals and guitar sound great on the band’s albums and was nearly as good live. I think it helps that when recording they more or less play live and don’t layer track over track over track to get their sound.
It was impressive to see how easy Andrew’s guitarwork recreated the album sound and even the parts where you think there are extra guitarists was played with ease. I should imagine the rather impressive pedalboard played it’s part in helping here but again that’s just extra work for the guitarist. His vocals were great and it’s not often you get the chance to see someone that is obviously at the very top of their game.
As I stood watching I realized just how lucky I was to see Wolfmother play live, and as the show drew to an end I couldn’t help but think that unless the new album sells well this may be a sight I never get to see again. Hopefully this won’t be the case and Wolfmother will have a long and impressive career ahead of them.
As the once seething crowd made their way towards the exit there were smiles everywhere I looked. It would appear that the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen at the Academy were as impressed as I was by the two fantastic performances we had seen.
I even spotted one lucky person leaving with a set list grasped firmly in their hand. Let’s hope it’s not too long before Wolfmother grace these shores again as I for one will be in line for a ticket.
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