The Wombats

By Megan Walker

As a large video on the backdrop appeared the crowd at Leeds Metropolitan University cheered as The Wombat’s walked on stage to a sold out audience. The trio had played The Cockpit in Leeds in October and although playing a similar set list as they did then, many of the fans had turned up in force once more to show their support for the Liverpool band.

Before the band had even played a single note, the audience were clapping, chanting and screaming showing that their trip back to Leeds was fully supported and backed up by the 500 people watching them.

They launched straight in to their newest single “Our Perfect Disease” which although risky, starting their set with a brand new song, proved a huge success. The song was a powerful first choice and already the excitement had surged throughout the crowd straight from the front of the stage.

The song choices within the set allowed the band to showcase all of their musical talent, vocally and instrumentally. In the second song “Kill the Director”, the crowd began to sing, dance and clap along. The high energy song managed to showcase lead singer Matthew Murphy’s vocals even more so than the other tracks. By the end of the song, the whole crowd, not just the front section were joining in with the band and as the lighting suited the music perfectly, creating a surreal atmosphere.

During the bands fourth song, “Jump in to the Fog”, another one of the band’s newest songs – which will be feature on their forthcoming album – a large amount of the crowd began to sing along and dance suggesting they had heard the song previous to the gig. The track showcases the voice of Matthew whilst also showcasing the harmonies of Dan and Tord.

The set also provided the chance for the band to tell their fans what they’d been up to in the last couple of years. The backdrop played host to an array of vacation pictures taken by the band. Drummer and backing vocalist Dan Haggis acted spokesman for the band and after playing a slide show of pictures said “We were supposed to have a new album out now… but it got postponed, it’s definitely going to be out on the 25th April”.

Throughout the sixteen song set, The Wombats played seven songs from their new album including the incredibly catchy “Techno Fan” and the more serious ballad “Anti-D”. Playing so many of the new songs really proved a smart move for the boys as it seemed to bring full energy back to their set, with strong vocals from all three singers and again the band ensured that the crowd were fully involved at every point.

Overall; the exceptional performance The Wombats received for the second time in six months really highlighted the crowds support for them and their new ventures with their new album. Finishing their set with “Let’s Dance To Joy Division” – most arguably their most upbeat song – the vocals employed by the Liverpool trio was absolutely phenomenal. Throughout the set the band made sure that they played songs to suit every member of the audience, both young and old, and every musical taste in the room, from slow love songs to upbeat indie pop numbers alike. It was certain the band were completely focused on ensuring the audience were enjoying themselves as much as they were, always encouraging the more than willing band to dance and sing along if they knew the songs.

With a new album out on the 25th April and more rumoured headline shows to follow this year it seems possible that The Wombats could play an even bigger slot in Leeds O2 Academy, and no doubt, it’ll be a sold out event with both fans from the last few Leeds gigs, to new fans waiting to see the Liverpool boys take to the stage once again and bring us another spectacular show.

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