Images courtesy of Georgia Osborn
If you braved the torrential Manchester rain this week for a trip to Band on the Wall you’ll have experienced a real treat. Although the venue has made its name for its assortment of expert jazz musicians, the opening of it’s doors to Dream Wife and their tour is a move we’re particularly thankful for, especially when the tickets are under £10 with student discounts moving it down to £6. What we like to hear folks!
First up on the bill are Psyblings, the first of the two Manchester supports to set the stage with a psych/ noise rock combo that makes sure everyone’s eyes are focused on the stage. They capture Dream Wife’s explosive energy and fury and take it a step further with Singer Greg Dixon throwing himself around the stage and doing everything in his power to climb an elevated section of the venue towards the end of their set.
They’re followed by Pearl City who merge the sounds of synth-pop bands like Chvrches and Polica, with soaring vocals. It’s the first ever gig for duo Greta Carroll and Nick Delap but after a handful of songs they really seem to find their rhythm, and with some impressive tracks, we’re expecting to hear much more from them over the coming months with new single Flames releasing earlier this month.
As impressive as their supports are, Dream Wife dominate the night completely. Beginning their set with a handful of dancing individuals in the centre of the room, by the end of their set most of the stage and the venue right back to pillars towards the back of the room are filled with shouts, screams, dancing bodies and a chorus of “yasssss’s”.
Where some pop-rock bands hit like a sledgehammer, Dream Wife sound more like the swift stabbing of a switchblade. It’s a sound you can hear on their recorded tracks, short sharp riffs and lyrics, but this is taken to another level during their live performance. The increased sense of anger, passion and energy comes not just from singer Rakel Mjöll, but bass player Bella Podpadec and guitarist Alice Go. Each member feels part of the performance, and their interactions both with each other, the wider crowd, and even individuals recognised throughout the night help to add to a real sense of community within the venue.
It’s that sense of community that results in the most memorable moments of the night, the band’s 10-minute rendition of their track FUU (more than double the tracks original length) is a sight to behold, particularly with the bands call for all “bad bitches” to the front. It’s a sight that’s powerful, empowering and would make the Riot Grrrl greats of the 90’s smile as their feminist themes continue through Dream Wife’s raging chants of “I spy with my little eye, bad bad bad bad bitches”. The track naturally includes a huge stage invasion as well, because come on, why not?!
To put it simply, Dream Wife fill a void that no other bands are currently being brave enough to. Their tracks are sharp, unique and hit hard, and they have a real sense of what it is they’re looking to achieve. If that’s not a recipe for success I’m not sure what is. Roll on their return to Manchester.