Review of The Wombats live at The Cockpit, Leeds 22/10/2010

Even though The Wombats formed in 2003 it wasn't until 2008 that they were commercially recognised as a band to look out for. An album and three chart-placing singles later, The Wombats have returned to reflect on their past music but also reveal what is in store on their second record. Set for release in February next year, the fans at The Cockpit in Leeds were lucky enough to get a huge chunk of new material. The Cockpit may have been a strange choice due to its capacity, but the intimate nature of the venue definitely created a buzzing vibe that had a source that could light up all the bulbs in the building.

The Wombats

As the lights went down, the audience were electrifying. A combination of emo teenagers, students and even pensioners, were all riled up ready to bring the roof down. As the guitar riffs kicked in, The Wombats were ready to take The Cockpit by storm. Kicking off their set with Kill the Director, this band was ready to exemplify just how great they are live. Sounding just like their recordings, The Wombats may be relatively new on the scene but they sound like they have circled the block many times before.

The gig was a great conglomerate of old and new material. Although it was evident that the fans got a bit annoyed at all the new songs played (merely because they weren't able to scream along to them), it gave a great insight to what we can expect from these guys off their next LP. The quite-negative fan response to all the new tracks played in the middle, did in turn however, create a bit of a lull. A definite departure from their first outing, their new sound seems much more align with rock-electro bands such as Cobra Starship and MGMT. Their latest single Tokyo, was played to screaming fans and it reminded us exactly why it was chosen to be the lead single off the new record. Merging their old indie sound with a more electronic drive shows the band's willingness to not only experiment with their sound but also appease their already-established fans. Playing the 'first Wombat Ballad ever produced', it is obvious that we are seeing this band evolve into something much greater and more diverse. This of course, did not divert away from their much recognised music. The last three tracks of the night were allocated to the three fan favourites; Moving to New York, Backfire at the Disco and Let's dance to Joy Division. Leaving the fans urging for me, the band went out on a high and proved that they could dominate any stage; big or small.

Apart from a few technical glitches, that caused crew to come on stage at times which in turn left a great hindrance on the atmosphere, the band were able to provide a great nights entertainment. The fact that the age range within the venue spanned 50 years simply highlights this band's appeal to the public. It may have been a bit cooler for a bit more backchat from leading man Matthew Murphy, and possibly an introduction to the bandmates for newer fans that were present, but it is obvious that it is all about the music for this Liverpool-based band. No gimmicks, no stage theatrics; they're in it to kill the show. And 'Kill the director' they certainly did.

Nima Baniamer

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