Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen
Ah, The Wombats. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all zipped up our Jack Wills hoodies and lip-synced to ‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division’ in our bedrooms at some point in our lives. The trio have always encapsulated a sense of British youth: sideways ponytails, pink lipstick, colourful Converse, and whatever else littered our Facebook albums from 2009. In a time where we seem to be growing up a bit too fast, nostalgia is always welcome. The Wombats’ Aberdeen set at the Beach Ballroom was full of tangible joy, and I can’t thank them enough for that.
The concert opened with Bloxx and The Night Café. An upcoming female-led band that promises a new, refreshing sound for the alternative music scene, Bloxx were a welcoming start. Originating from Liverpool, The Night Café then followed with a lively and confident performance. Apart from one rather dreary number that mostly consisted of the lyrics “I’m addicted to you” repeated for an excruciating few minutes, The Night Café delivered impressive instrumentals and a warm sound that lit up the venue.
The Wombats began with ‘Cheetah Tongue’: the first track off their new record Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life. What the album lacks in lyricism, it makes up for in melody. ‘Cheetah Tongue’ was born to be a rock-belter. From the indigo lighting to their consistent infectious energy, the Liverpudlian trio know exactly what they’re doing and, goodness, do they do it well.
They then followed with ‘Give Me A Try’ and ‘1996’ from their previous albums. ‘Kill The Director’ sparked an electric current throughout the crowd. There is nothing quite like witnessing a mass of Scottish 14-year olds, clad in beanies and Vans, raise their hands into the air and echo the words: “If this is a rom-com, kill the director!” over and over again – an effective battle-cry for clichéd, rose-tinted adolescence.
‘Black Flamingo’ and ‘White Eyes’ were full of invigorating bite, illustrating the instrumental crunch in their new album. ‘Techno Fan’, ‘Pink Lemonade’ and ‘Jump into The Fog’ successfully scored hollers from the loyal fans in the audience. The Wombats intertwined their new sound with the old to create an exciting, expansive playlist to showcase their discography.
At the end of the day, The Wombats are a group of artists that just really love music. Tord, the bassist, was on some sort of musical high: vaulting across the stage with a smile that could cure the angst and melancholy of every single teenager in the room. Lead singer Murphy crooned effortlessly into the mic and brought his own quips to the performance by calling “bullshit” to his previous statement that there were “three” songs left, instead of “five”. The surreal comedy extended to a random metal riff between songs, as well as the appearance of a few guests clad in full wombat animal costumes during ‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division’.
Their three-song encore, which consisted of ‘Turn’, ‘Tokyo (Vampires and Wolves)’ and ‘Greek Tragedy’, was undeniably the highlight of the evening. The addition of large colourful balloons bouncing between the musicians and the audience was the perfect cherry on top. There is an unabashed beauty in jumping up and down, and screaming about the demons from your past, lost love and going back to “boring Tokyo”. Sure, I can be cynical, but The Wombats managed to melt the hearts of everyone at the Beach Ballroom for a night, and that’s worth celebrating.
Image: Pomona PR