Blue lighting floods the stage of Hammersmith Apollo so Wolf Alice appear in tinted silhouettes

Wolf Alice at Hammersmith Apollo (a review: kind of)

Or #Ijustwantyoutobehappy

There was a time when going to gigs didn’t come with a heightened level of uncertainty. Hell, there was a time when going outside didn’t come with such a level.

But on the first night of Wolf Alice at the Hammersmith Apollo, there was as much anxiety as there is teenage angst gushing around a secondary school when it rains during a games lesson so there is a mixed aerobics class.

Blue lighting floods the stage of Hammersmith Apollo so Wolf Alice appear in tinted silhouettes
I don’t often take pictures at gigs but the lighting was very special at Wolf Alice so I took this one
Wolf Alice is written in red letters above the entrance at the Hammersmith Apollo
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a band’s name up in lights at the Eventim Apollo (aka the Hammersmith Apollo)

Anxiety because after a day of Storm Eunice with people battening down the hatches, and wishing they instead had Battenberg cake, no-one was quite sure if they would make it to Hammersmith for the event.

Twitter was – as always – full of angry people looking for any kind of news from the venue about whether they would be able to get a refund because they couldn’t get there.

And I was just certain that even if I couldn’t get there I had to have at least tried – and if I didn’t then it was the fault of the trains and not me.

I bought two tickets last March because, as you will have read in previous episodes of Fiskal Policy, the latest album gave me life and hope during the last year of the pandemic.

Back then I wasn’t sure who I would go with but just knew it would be an amazing night and someone would be overjoyed to be there with me. (Overjoyed because of the band, not because or the prospect of a night out with me.)

And thankfully after being faced with a departures board where almost every train was cancelled, and a long Uber journey for my friend, we got there.

Never has showing a security guard, in a bright yellow t-shirt, my Covid pass (vaccinations truly are a gateway drug to gigs) felt so good.

And now, here’s the (kind of) proper review bit.

A lot has happened in life since the last time I saw Wolf Alice at Glastonbury just as their first album was being released.

And the way my brain works seems to be that I tend to store negative memories rather than the good ones.

This means that I’d simply forgotten just how good Wolf Alice are live.

I’d forgotten how Ellie’s breathtakingly beautiful voice could cause goosebumps on arms and hairs to stand up on the back of necks.

I’d forgotten how they seem to exist in a musical category of their own – where you are just as likely to find a rollicking guitar riffs as ethereal vocals.

And it was quite simply incredible.

Belting out their hits from Blue Weekend along with a great sprinkling of songs from previous releases they looked like they were born to be on that stage.

It was something they had waited months for and so had the crowd, singing along to almost every word.

For me the standout track was Lipstick on the Glass and I think it will be a memory I’ll cling on to forever.

Hopefully it won’t be years before I get to see them again.

Hopefully no matter how long it is in the intervening months I will have a lot of good memories rather than bad ones.

Stay safe for another week!