Eleven years after their initial album A Guide To Love, Loss & Desperation, The Wombats have been at it again. Their 2018 release, Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life was a great addition to the band’s catalogue, touring it alongside their appearance at Splendour In The Grass. Yet, these tours were not enough for one of the biggest indie exports of England as the power trio again are in the midst of an Australian tour.
Australian electronic/pop sensation Eves Karydas was a decided opener for The Wombats, with her upbeat pop anthems setting the scene for the evening. Eves’ hook laden, pop anthems were a staple of the night and laid the groundwork for the fun throughout the night.
With Eves’ biggest hits off of her latest album Summerskin all a major part of her set, Eves was able to build the energy of the room with ease. Eve’s set was full of fun and displayed her songwriting prowess as an artist. “Damn Loyal”, “Couch” and “There For You”, all of her lead up singles to her album made a big impact on the crowd, before an acoustic cover of her softened track “Wildest Ones”.
The heavy bass driven beats of “Further Than The Planes Fly” closed out Eve’s time on the stage, bringing her feel good, dance party vibe to a close, it set up the coming artist well as the sublime spirit of Eves’ fit the high spirit of The Wombats music.
Rather than re-celebrating their newest album, The Wombats’ latest tour iteration was a reminder of their brilliance overall, not leaning on any album in particular throughout their performance. It meant they could focus on what their fans love; the on-stage banter, their quirky attitude and of course their music, which is best described as fun.
Anticipation was in the air before The Wombats came on stage, as the crowd watched the sound techs complete all of the checks on the band’s gear, finally, to the tune of James Brown’s 1971 classic “Sex Machine”, The Wombats arrived.
It was a quick turnaround for the seated crowd as the lead singer; Matthew Murphy egged the crowd into standing up in their seats to dance with the songs throughout the night, something which at this point is synonymous with The Wombats. With that, the atmosphere quickly rose through the room, as the party that The Wombat’s were looking for in Melbourne began with a bang.
With a blend of both the band’s new and old tracks coming from over their impressive discography there was no slow moment as The Wombats’ peppy, buoyant dance tracks kept the party going into the night. All four of their albums were represented as favourites “Emoticon”, “Moving To New York”, “Tokyo”, and “Lemon To A Knife Fight” all featured through the nights performance.
“Let’s Dance To Joy Division” the ironic dance anthem off of The Wombats’ first album finished the bulk of the set before a walk off. With Visuals representing the Unknown Pleasures album art, but with little wombat heads throughout the work, the free-spirited band pulled off a memorable set complete with dancing wombats through the bridge of the track.
There was more to come, as The Wombats’ clearly weren’t finished with the electric Melbourne crowd. The three song encore kicked off with Matt playing “Lethal Combination” as an acoustic, before Dan and Tord were welcomed back to run through “Turn”. The climax came in the form of an old favourite, “Greek Tragedy”, hailing from the bands’ popular third album Glitterbug. As the rhythm drumming and fluttering notes rained down from the speakers, a roar of joy erupted from the crowd. The popular track had the entire crowd singing along and was a powerful reminder of The Wombats’ talent over the years.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
The Wombats are currently touring Australia and New Zealand. For more details on their tour dates, head HERE. And to find out about The Wombats’ intimate show in Sydney next week at the Oxford Art Factory on 27th November for War Child, and how you can buy a ticket, head HERE. The reviewer attended the 19th November 2018 performance at the Palais Theatre in Melbourne.