Home > Reviews > Live Reviews > 19/03/2011 | The Wombats – Spring and Airbrake, Belfast

19/03/2011 | The Wombats – Spring and Airbrake, Belfast

Nichola Eastwood


Tonight Belfast is visited by Liverpudlian trio The Wombats, and what a welcome visit it is.  This evening’s gig is a pit stop on the band’s current UK tour heralding the release of their new album This Modern Glitch, due 25th April.  The queue of half frozen people lingering outside Spring and Airbrake and the fact my bones are now in pain due to jumping about like a loon really says all you need to know about tonight’s performance.

The evening’s support comes in the form of the oddly named Colly Strings.  After an initially bland start the local boys catch us off guard and manage to belt out an impressive set.  Colly Strings are definitely a talent to watch out for, cocky and totally at ease with their sound, they ooze confidence, a detail amplified by the stage presence and cheeky charm of front man Travis Gilbert.  With tracks like Teddy Robinson and Built To Break the Northern Irish quartet’s swagger is well founded. Brain pounding guitar, addictive vocals and drums akin to being bashed over the head with a plate … what’s not to love?

The Wombats, however, eclipse everything else here tonight.  The trio come as close as humanly possible to producing a perfect set.  We’re served a mix of highlights from the bands back catalogue alongside the finest of their new material.  There’s not a note out of place or a flat performance here tonight.  Matthew Murphy’s vocals are pristine and the trio’s showmanship is second to none.

Tonight’s set is a marathon of crowd pleasers, catchy guitar riffs and choruses abound.  The star of the band’s new material is, by far and away, a euphoric rendition of the excellent Jump Into The Fog.  There’s not a voice in the crowd that doesn’t join Matthew’s in belting out the mammoth chorus.  As Matthew and Tord raise their guitars skyward in unison you get the feeling the guys have complete confidence in their new material, even those which are only being road tested tonight, and with tracks like current single Anti-D and Tokyo (Vampires and Wolves)  why wouldn’t they?  Tonight’s audience lap up every track, Tokyo in particular sees the crowd lift off the ground, despite the fact there’s hardly room to breathe.

The excellence of the trio’s new material, however, does nothing to lessen the brilliance of indie anthems such as Kill The Director and Backfire At The Disco, sure fire fan favourites that see this evening’s gig goers chanting the chorus at top volume.  Party In A Forest (Where’s Laura) and Here Comes The Anxiety, while perhaps not the band’s most well known work, are impressively note perfect and definitely some of the more mellow highlights in tonight’s set.

In a performance this jam packed with special moments it’s difficult to single out one that grabs you more than the rest.  In this particular instance Moving To New York and a much anticipated rendition of Lets Dance To Joy Division come out on top, blasting out over the crowd, who pretty much lose their marbles.  The perfect end to a perfect set.

During the course of tonight’s gig Matthew claims it’s been too long since the band’s last visit to Belfast and based on what I’ve just witnessed I have to agree.  The trio’s live performances are just as addictive as the music they play.  Great tunes and bags of fun, if only every weekend was as good as this!