REVIEW: Wolf Alice, Pie & Vinyl, Southsea

Wolf Alice Picture: Paul Windsor

IT’S not every day you get a Grammy-nominated rock band playing a pie shop in Southsea, but that was the case when Wolf Alice dropped by for an in-store performance at Pie and Vinyl in Castle Road.

Sixty lucky fans clutching their pre-ordered vinyl are shoehorned into the store, with almost as many outside peering through the window.

The band has not long finished a two-year world tour, stopping only to record new album Visions Of A Life. It’s a sign of the band’s confidence that the normally full-blown rock sound can be stripped down to an acoustic performance. Seated lead singer Ellie Rowsell nervously looks up at the crowd standing literally a foot away, a mobile phone goes off, bass player Theo Ellis grabs it off the embarrassed fan and tells the caller: ‘Sorry, we are about to start a show’. It certainly breaks the ice.

The band soon hit their stride – Ellie’s vocals taking on a PJ Harvey-like authority. It’s difficult to tell how the new songs will translate to the bigger stage. Rather well, one would suspect.

It’s a short set, 30 minutes or so, before the band heads outside to do autographs and selfies before whizzing off to Brighton for another in-store gig. Needless to say they’re back on tour soon, including a show at the O2 Guildhall in Southampton, before headlining Alexandra Palace in the capital.

‘See you next year,’ say the band. I suspect the queues may be a lot longer.

PAUL WINDSOR

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