Wolf Alice Headline Neu’s First ‘Hello 2013’ ShowLive
A monstrously packed Old Blue Last begins the year with the first of four new band showcases in January.
The timing couldn't be much more fitting. Wolf Alice, having just unveiled their new 'Fluffy' single and turned goodness knows how many heads with said track, perform the following night to a heaving London crowd that are eager to catch the year's first 'Hello 2013' show, co-curated by Neu and The Old Blue Last.
But it isn't as if a mad rush ensues as soon as time approaches the London headliner's set. The venue is suitably filled for opening act MUST's show, as their nostalgic '90s grunge does well to impress. The nonchalant, evocative style that laces their recordings is thrown to one side on stage. A more vibrant energy takes its place. The odd five-second silence following a track is made all the more poignant due to the sheer force that emerges when the band begin playing again.
Blackeye are more forthright with their performance. Chloe Little is constantly expressive; rolling her eyes with every guitar lick; suiting her band's bubblegum pop style. Although many remarking on Blackeye might comment on a Britpop revival, tonight's performance shows few similarities. This is pop-punk re-defined; an edgy, instantly likeable sound that's both sugar-sweet and oddly sinister in equal measure.
The dapper Men's Adventures come clad in waistcoats and it's a relief to see them entering the stage minus a Mumford-style banjo. Their set is thankfully less faux-euphoric and more adventurous than the world's most famous farmer-boys-gone-superstars. By this point the upstairs room in the Old Blue Last is stuffed to the brim and hot with anticipation.
Wolf Alice's set is undeniably being viewed with an industry-led curiosity. When we suggest that a good chunk of the crowd are there to see the headliners, Ellie quips: "This is a first..We normally support someone and no-one turns up." Joff adds; "It'll be quality to get some real people down for the shows". Real people turn up in their masses, seemingly outnumbering the odd A&R scout scattered across the venue, in turn raising the atmosphere of the show. By the time 'Fluffy' departs there's a tangible sense at having seen something significant. The song, a mere day old, sounds vital and remarkably familiar. The more strung-out 'Leaving You' is similarly well-received, in a short set than does nothing to dampen the sense of excitement surrounding the group.
Wolf Alice played:
The next Hello 2013 shows will see the likes of Death Rays Of Ardilla (15th January), Syron (23rd January) and JAWS (30th January) headlining the Old Blue Last.