Live review: The Wombats @ O2 Institute Birmingham, 23/03/18

The Wombats’ Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life Tour kicked off a few weeks ago, and Birmingham’s date saw them headlining the O2 Institute.

The venue seemed an unusual choice, as the band had played bigger venues in Birmingham in previous years, but nevertheless 2,000 fans piled in to see them take the stage.

Support came from London-based Bloxx and Liverpool-based The Night Café which kicked the night off to a fantastic start. Bloxx played a range of songs from their repertoire, chatting with the audience between songs, while The Night Café did less talking and more singing, reminding the audience of the Liverpudlian vibes of The Wombats.

The Wombats finally took to the stage, while an animation of their favourite animal played behind them.

The crowd went wild for the opening bars of ‘Cheetah Tongue’, belting out the lyrics to the first chorus. Lead singer, Murph, accidentally sung the second verse instead of the first before announcing that “we’ll do it backwards” and continuing the song in reverse!

With a five album discography, fans were treated to an array of tracks from different eras. ‘Give Me A Try’ from Glitterbug appeared a crowd favourite, as did ‘1996’ from This Modern Glitch. The crowd danced to the songs, jumping, opening and closing pits and completely losing themselves in the music. Murph took this opportunity to remind everyone to stay hydrated – even if it meant drinking the sweat of the person next to you…

An audience member threw a single white shoe onto the stage, causing Murph to reminisce about the odd things that he has had thrown at him. He then dedicated White Eyes to the “one-shoed person hopping about in the moshpit” before launching into the song.

While this gig was definitely about the music and not the mini-speeches in between, Murph (with nods of agreement from Dan and Tord) did take every opportunity to ask the audience how everyone was and to thank them for coming.

Taking it back to Glitterbug once again, to the joy of the crowd they played ‘Pink Lemonade’, a track which had only been played live a few times before this tour. An inside joke between fans of The Wombats, the band then invited the audience to ‘take a trip to the thirteenth floor’ provided they ‘knew the password’, prompting shouts of “Grelvis is a d***head” before they launched into ‘Moving to New York’.

Murph joked around about how they only had one more song but “you know what’s happening, it’s not your first rodeo, Birmingham.” They rounded off with their ‘fake’ last song ‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division’ featuring a stage invasion of people dressed in wombat costumes set to an animation of the Joy Division logo with wombats popping out at the peaks.

The audience, which had been seemingly united until this point, were divided as chants of “we want more”, “one more song” and “encore” competed to make The Wombats take the stage once more and play ‘Turn’.

As the band played ‘Tokyo’, huge balloons fell from the sky and continued to blow around the Institute, a mesmerisingly perfect way to round up the gig. To close the night, they played fan favourite ‘Greek Tragedy’ causing everyone to erupt once more, making the most of seeing such an amazing band live.

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What a night 😌

A post shared by Talie Colbourne (@taliecolbourne) on

Fans danced their way out of the Institute – some heading over to The Wombat’s DJ set at Propaganda, and others heading home to sort through all of their photos and videos, but all buzzing from the energy that radiates from The Wombats live show.

Originally posted on The National Student.

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