Wolf Alice hail ‘best gig of summer’ at Lisbon’s Nos Alive, plus Pixies debut new songs

Biffy Clyro also celebrated the release of new album 'Ellipsis' at Portuguese event

Wolf Alice last night (July 7) performed a hugely well-received set in the city that inspired their track ‘Lisbon’, on The opening night of Nos Alive festival.

Addressing a packed crowd at the Heineken Stage, bassist Theo Ellis said the performance was “The best show we’ve had all summer.” Making specific reference to the song ‘Lisbon’, he said: “When me and Joel were about 19 we went on holiday together to this city – and this is a song about that.”

Wolf Alice were one of a number of British acts enjoying the sunshine at the three-day Portuguese bash. First on the main stage – at a leisurely 6pm – were The 1975. Opening, as is now familiar, with 2015 single ‘Love Me’, the band played a set heavy on material from their latest album, ‘I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It’, with tracks including ‘Ugh’, ‘Change Of Heart’ and ‘She’s American’.

Frontman Matt Healy told the crowd ‘We haven’t actually been to Portugal enough – sorry about that,” and wore a couple of unusual items from his wardrobe – first, a Cannibal Corpse T-shirt reading “Butchered at birth” on the back, and, second, a thick plaid shirt. Uncharacteristically sparing with his words, he later told the crowd: “I know I haven’t been talking very much. It’s cos if I start I never stop.”


No shirt changes were in order for Biffy Clyro, next on the same stage – the 29-degree heat had them topless from the off. With new album ‘Ellipsis’ officially going on sale mere hours after their performance, they opened with that record’s searing first single ‘Wolves Of Winter’, and another new one, ‘Friends And Enemies’, was played shortly after. Later, new tracks ‘On A Bang’ and ‘Animal Style’ were performed to a crowd that seemed to double in size while the Ayrshire trio were on stage. The rest of their sprawling set saw them dipping into their extensive back catalogue, culminating in the muscular ‘Stinging Belle’, or “Stingin’ fuckin’ Belle!” as frontman Simon Neil had it.

Also performing new material were The Pixies, whose epic 29-song set included three tracks from new album ‘Head Carrier’, recently announced for a September release. They were ‘Um Chagga Lagga’, which the group have been performing since 2015, and two songs which were aired for the first time: ‘Head Carrier’ and ‘Classic Masher’. The former, the album’s title track, was melodic, heavy and mid-paced, reminiscent of Neil Young & Crazy Horse. The band failed to say a single word to the crowd, but received rapturous responses for favourites including ‘Where Is My Mind’ and ‘Here Comes Your Man’.

Headliners Chemical Brothers rounded the night off with a 1am set that showcased their stunning visuals and included tracks from across their extensive back catalogue, including an opening ‘Hey Boy, Hey Girl’ and an extended remix of ‘Setting Sun’, their 1996 collaboration with Noel Gallagher.

The 55,000 capacity festival continues today (July 8) with a headline performance by Radiohead and concludes tomorrow with Arcade Fire.