Wolf Alice didn’t quite make number one, but their love is still cool

Wolf Alice
Wolf Alice

Musicians in contest final

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If Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl hadn’t fallen off stage and broken his leg earlier this year, Wolf Alice could be celebrating their debut album, My Love is Cool, going straight to number one.

The Foos were replaced as Glastonbury headliners by Florence and the Machine – and their latest album received the sales bump that typically goes to acts prominent on the bill.

As a result, Florence Welch’s band beat the young four-piece to the top of the charts by a few hundred sales.

But as bassist Theo Ellis explains, they’re not bitter: ‘It’s 400-and-something we missed it by, but if you told us three months ago we would even be in the top 10 we wouldn’t have believed you.

‘We’re just glad it’s finally out and people are enjoying it because it’s been such a long time coming.

‘It would have been cool to have been number one, but Florence deserved to headline Glastonbury, and she deserved to be number one.’

I don’t think we should not be ambitious. I don’t think it’s arrogant to say we want to headline stadiums and sell loads, why wouldn’t you want to do that if you’re in a band?

Theo Ellis, Wolf Alice’s bassist

With a sound that veers from grunge to pretty pop and even shades of techno, they are shaping up to be one of the hits of 2015.

And after what has already been a busy year, which has seen them make multiple trips to America as well as playing shows in Japan and Australia, the band are now undertaking their biggest UK headline tour to date. The eight-date tour takes in the O2 Guildhall in Southampton on September 23, before finishing at Brixton Academy.

Theo says: ‘I still can’t believe that tour. I hadn’t had the chance to properly look at the venues before it was announced, and then it was like: “Oh. My. God”. It’s quite a few tickets to sell.

‘But we’re excited because this is the first time we’ll be able to incorporate that “show” element into what we do.

‘We do have big ambitions though as a band

‘I don’t think we should not be ambitious. I don’t think it’s arrogant to say we want to headline stadiums and sell loads, why wouldn’t you want to do that if you’re in a band?’

While they’re not coming to Portsmouth this time, they have fond memories of the city – they played an early show at now-closed Registry.

‘That’s the first time we were ever asked to sign anything as a band. We were all really weirded out because someone asked us to sign our (second single) Fluffy vinyls.’

And more recently, in June they did an in-store at Pie and Vinyl to mark the album’s release.

‘I went to a really weird pub at the end of the road – it was cool though,’ Theo recalls. ‘Some kids were out on the corner drinking some red wine in the heat – I really admired their choice of drink. It’s a pretty sexy drink for a bunch of 14-year-olds.’

Fronted by Ellie Rowsell, her all-male bandmates have not been phased by her new-found fondness for disappearing into the crowd mid-gig.

‘She’s made a point of vanishing into the crowd lately. Ell’s made of steel, she’s a force to be reckoned with. I’m more worried for the crowd being hurt by her.’

They are at O2 Guildhall in Southampton on Wednesday. Doors 7pm.

Tickets £16.50. Go to o2guildhallsouthampton.co.uk