Live review: The Wombats in Sydney
At the final show of their ‘Glitterbug’ tour, British indie-rockers The Wombats tore down the walls of The Hordern Pavilion in Sydney. Annastasia Robertson was there for Something You Said:
Support band, Last Dinosaurs, took to the stage at bang-on 8pm, launching into an explosive 45-minute set. The young boys from Brisbane were the perfect opening act for The Wombats, as their musical style is quite similar.
Strong comparisons can too be made of the on-stage banter and charisma that both Last Dinosaurs’ lead vocalist, Sean Caskey and The Wombats lead vocalist, Matthew Murphy have. Opening with ‘Weekend’, the crowd lapped up the guitar pop tracks, dancing, jumping and fist pumping in pure, unadulterated enjoyment. Set highlights included ‘Karma’, ‘Apollo’ and ‘Honolulu’, with Sean joking that this was the 101st year of the band playing that track.
With a flash of lights, and the roar of the packed crowd, the Liverpool boys took the stage and began their set with ‘Give Me A Try’. Moving into popular tune ‘Moving To New York’, which received a gigantic amount of enthusiasm and one of the night’s biggest cheers.
The set was a perfect mix of old and new tracks including, ‘1996’, ‘Be Your Shadow’, and ‘Your Body Is A Weapon’, with Matthew Murphy acting as more of an MC, really engaging their audience to the music and some of the stories behind the music.
Bringing some cheekiness to the mix, ‘Patricia The Stripper’ from their debut album, ‘A Guide To Love, Loss & Desperation’, was a welcomed throwback. In a smooth follow-on, ‘Pink Lemonade’ from latest album, ‘Glitterbug’ was announced by Murphy as a song about him thinking his girlfriend was hooking up with someone else while he was on holidays.
Rocking through the latter half of the set, the clever mix of classic tunes and new jams including, ‘Techno Fan’, ‘Emoticons’, ‘Curveballs’, ‘The English Summer’ and ‘Kill The Director’ creates a well-balanced experience.
Pretending to end the night with ‘Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves)’, the boys left the stage, only to return to play a few more tracks. Strumming beautifully through ‘Isabel’, Murphy proves that time, age and copious amounts of strain to his voice have not tarnished it one bit.
With a air of anticipation in the room, with everyone hoping that the final song would be their undeniable most popular tune, the band spoiled us with ‘Greek Tragedy’, a perfect warm-up to the inevitable finale; indie-rock cult classic, ‘Let’s Dance To Joy Division’.
Review and Hordern photo by Annastasia Robertson.