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Wolf Alice @ Manchester Apollo review and gallery – kindness is the new rock and roll

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Featured image: Georgina Hurdsfield

Wolf Alice show why they are currently one of the most exciting bands in the world with an electrifying performance at Manchester Apollo on their sold-out Blue Weekend tour.

After being postponed due to the pandemic, the touring of Wolf Alice’s number one album was greeted with open arms by their adoring fans. Hot on the heels of their Brit Award success, Wolf Alice were keen to show the world how their new songs played out on stage.

With the addition of honorary member Ryan Malcolm (former guitarist of Superfood) playing synths, Wolf Alice lean further into the dream-pop genre. The cascading melodies of Ellie Rowsell’s vocals and the use of electronic drum pads on songs like ‘How Can I Make It OK’ give the band’s sound an uplifting sense of optimism amid the grimier worlds of heavier tracks like ‘Play The Greatest Hits’.

But the sparse moments of these adrenaline inducing songs make them all the more intense. Just as you get your breath back and wipe away the sweat, a blurred state of catharsis makes way for the sweet purity of one of Wolf Alice’s quieter numbers.

‘Safe From Heartbreak’ was one such quiet lullaby that drew the crowd into its heartfelt lyricism. The pickguard of Joff Oddie’s guitar reflected shimmers across the stage and a spotlight projected Rowsell’s profile on the back wall, evoking the image of a wind-up clockwork ballerina as she shared the intimate fable of unrequited love.

Wolf Alice manages to exude an aura of cool whilst preaching songs of friendship, love and compassion. The lyrics of their opening track ‘Smile’: “I ain’t ashamed in the fact that I’m sensitive” goes to show that Wolf Alice don’t pretend to be the hotel crashing rock icons of the past. With their new album Blue Weekend, Wolf Alice have proved once again that kindness is the new rock and roll.

Wolf Alice’s latest album Blue Weekend is available on Spotify and Apple Music

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Eddie Toomer-McAlpine

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