REVIEW: Andrew WK at The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea

Andrew WK celebrates another good review.
Andrew WK celebrates another good review.
Crowds at Lily Fest 2017. Picture: David Anscombe

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This is American rocker and motivational speaker Andrew WK’s first UK tour in some time.

Support band Yonaka bring a big sound with hints of the heavier side of Wolf Alice. They look battle-hardened, yet fresh-faced. I wonder what they were doing 17 years ago when Andrew was on Top of The Pops?

Speaking of which, as the stage is set for the headliner, a wave of youthful excitement washes over the crowd – a crowd with an average age in their thirties, who would’ve also no doubt seen the unforgettable version of Party Hard on TOTP.

The keyboardist steps on stage and starts us off with a chant of: ‘Party, party, party!’ building to a piece of music fit for an epic movie trailer, and then darkness.

A kickdrum beat precedes wailing guitars to bring on Andrew WK, who is all energy, and the crowd are instantly onside.

Maybe it’s the keyboards and theatrics, but I get a Meatloaf vibe from Mr WK as the band hurtles through their setlist like they’ll never get to play it again. Every song powers along like the show-stopping finale to a set. Atop an iceberg of metal sits a message of positivity to all with hurdles to overcome – he is a motivational speaker after all.

Stylistically not a lot has changed, he could have walked onto the stage right out of 2001 for all we know, and that’s fine with all of us!

What a performance.

SAM CUTBUSH