The Wombats @ the Southampton Guildhall 30/09/2015
The Wombats first graced me with their energetic presence back in 2012. On the same bill as the almighty Red Hot Chili Peppers at the iconic Knebworth Park, just after Reverend and The Makers, and just before Dizzee Rascal. This would be a year after the release of their number three peaking second album This Modern Glitch, and five years following their debut – A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation.
However, three years later they are on a headline tour supporting their latest creation – Glitterbug, which was released in back in April.
First of all, I think the surprising spacious gaps in the crowd at the Southampton Guildhall is something to be mentioned. The 1,749 capacity couldn’t be filled by the popular three piece formed in Liverpool, England.
Thankfully, that wasn’t an issue as the band provide a well thought-out balance of the mature and the current.
First song on the set list is ‘Give Me A Try’, just from the opening song I realise the latest album isn’t a reflection of the fast-paced adolescent indie music they once made, it is now stagnant and greatly more mushy sound. However, songs like these are then equalled out by the classics – the hard-hitting ‘Jump Into The Fog’ and the fast-paced sing-a-long anthem ‘Moving To New York’.
‘1996’ offers a soppy sing-a-long from lead vocalist Matthew Murphy, and 80’s synths. A similar ‘Pink Lemonade’ offers a mixture of the acoustic, and same lifeless chord.
What surprised me even more was the one small, if we could call it a mosh pit, that formed only around 14 tracks into their set, not surprisingly to one of their most popular hits ‘Kill The Director’. This eruption of spirit continued through to the next song, just before the encore – ‘Toykyo (Vampires & Wolves)’.
The encore featured the moderate ‘Isabel’, and the XFM (Radio X) loved ‘Greek Tragedy’ from the latest album Glitterbug. With contentment ‘Greek Tragedy’ proves itself to be another Wombat anthem with joyous sing a longs from the crowd, not as vigorous and lively the previous hits but, the band and their fans seem blissfully content with it.
Ending the set, was a short, cover of Rage Against the Machines ‘Killing in the Name Of’ with no vocals, which, upsettingly was the most abundant song they performed throughout the evening.
All in all, the earlier classic songs as suspected, are just as fun-fuelled and energetic as they were back in 2012. The newer songs just unfortunately don’t compare.