The Wombats @ Festival Hall

Bad iPhone photos of bands are my speciality

I’m a sucker for nostalgia. Absolutely love the ‘On this Day’ function for that very reason. When I saw that The Wombats were coinciding their Groovin The Moo appearance with the 10 year anniversary of their debut album, A Tale to Love, Loss and Desperation, I absolutely had to go to their headline show. You see as much as I love The Wombats, and have caught them several times at festivals, I almost felt some shame over loving a band that had such intense ties with being a teenager.

Call it whatever you want, it’s something that’s sadly ingrained in me and I know many others too. I’m going to preface this piece by saying NEVER feel ashamed about the music you like. If you feel a sense of emotional attachment to a song or piece of music, GOOD! That’s what music is all about. So stupid that I didn’t want to really tell people that I was going to The Wombats and poked fun of myself as well. Life’s short, listening to whatever music makes you happy. ANYWAY. Let me recap about the show now, but that’s the whole point of a live review anyway…

Openers Jarrow were great! Really great. I’m so stoked with how they’re travelling at the moment. Dan is a great songwriter and his band are incredibly tight. Aife who plays guitar also has so many great things to say. At Boogie Festival they called out the losers of Cosmic Psychos for using homophobic language on stage. Commendable and important. You rule Aife.

Wombats are on stage before we know it, launching straight into the blistering ‘Kill The Director’. Me and my friend agreed it would have been amazing if they played the opening track ‘Tales of Boys, Girls and Marsupials’. I used to sing it before my exams in high school. It weirdly calmed me down.

Pretty much every Wombats song is an ‘up’ track, which meant everyone was singing along and dancing to the songs. It felt really great to be united by a singular love — the feeling that makes me so addicted to going to gigs in the first place.

Particular highlights of their set were ‘Here Comes The Anxiety’ — a track I relate to on an uncomfortable level, and the slower ‘Little Miss Pipedream’ which was met with plenty of phone torches being waved from side to side. Quite a beautiful moment that lead singer Murph acknowledged — “I hope you felt that we all shared a moment then, I certainly did.”

It’s funny how when I listened to The Wombats when I was 14–15 I actually had zero life experience that related to their songs. Now that I’m older I totally get it. At least get it to the point where I think, “Woah, I would have written that lyric myself if they hadn’t of beat me to it.”

By the end of the show I’m hoarse from SCREAMING the lyrics to ‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division’. I feel so happy and light, I forget that I’ve been having a hard time at work lately, that tomorrow I have to wake up and take my medication in order to remain emotionally stable. It’s a nice feeling.

The fact that The Wombats and the songs they wrote 10 years ago are still relevant, still as excitable, is pretty amazing. I think there’s an enduring quality to their music that people will often overlook for teenage hysteria. Bands and their power lie far beyond just a casual attraction. They’re here with us for life, even long after they stop making music, and that’s a comforting thought and a really special thing.