Every year, a handful of new bands step up at Glastonbury and show the world they’re capable of becoming the Next Big Thing. Last year it was Royal Blood or Jungle. In 2015, it’s Wolf Alice leading the charge.
They’ve smashed their way into the mainstream
What utterly perfect synchronicity we have here: the band many are tipping to //the// next big guitar thing are playing their biggest and most important gigs to date, on the weekend their debut album ‘My Love Is Cool’ goes where no other scratchy London indie band is allowed to go right now: the top end of the charts. It’s almost as if some dark overlord planned it all. But if any band belong in this position, Wolf Alice do. Like Haim and Jungle before them, Ellie, Joel, Joff and Theo would be wasted playing the Old Blue Last forever. They thrive on the big stage, they were invented to give starry-eyed superfans exactly what they want, and this weekend – from their packed-out performance on Thursday under canvas at William’s Green to the ultra-celebratory Park Stage set a day later – proves it once and for all: Wolf Alice are A-list now.
‘Bros’ is a Proper Festival Anthem
It might have taken over a year of being aired in practically every grassy field in Europe, but finally Wolf Alice’s most anthemic song is getting through to the masses. It’s a track that builds and breaks like a wave, and nowhere is more perfect a setting for that kind of fare than the Park Stage. The band feed off the atmosphere and turn in one of the most enthralling, confident versions of it ever: massive but still intimate and vibey. If it sounds this huge now, imagine what it could be like on the Pyramid Stage in a few years time…
They know exactly when to call in a favour
The highlight of Thursday’s set at William’s Green was when Eoin Loveless of Drenge (“the best live band in the world”, according to Ellie) ambled onstage, grabbed a guitar and let rip on ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’. Shambolic, yes – but also the perfect encapsulation of unabridged chaos at its most enticing.
Ellie Rowsell’s confidence
Part of what made Wolf Alice so appealing in the early days was the vulnerability of Ellie Rowsell. As a singer her voice seemed more suited to Laura Marling-style folk songs (indeed, she used to play them before the band took off), and as a performer she often looked like she wanted to be in the wings rather than centre stage. Not any more though: with popularity comes swagger, and Ellie’s finally looking like she was born to be ruling the roost.
The crowd go wild
Thursday’s secret set at William’s Green saw thousands of punters stuck outside, jostling to get a look at what was happening onstage. It’s the closest Wolf Alice have got to Beatlemania – and further proof they’ve properly arrived.