The Wombats @ The Tivoli, Brisbane – 5 May 2011 – Live Review

Review by: Lauren Sherritt
Known for catchy tunes, clever lyrics, playfully sung narratives and an outstanding energy, The Wombats played to a sold out Tivoli in Brisbane on Thursday night, giving their all to make it a night to remember for the fans attending.

So popular were tickets to the trio’s show that Thursday night’s gig was their second Brisbane performance, organised for those who had missed out on tickets for the original Tuesday night show. Being all ages, the evening started early, with doors opening at six-thirty and the band taking the stage just after eight. Populated mainly by teens delighted to be able to see the marsupial-inspired band in the flesh, the crowd got busy chanting for The Wombats early on.

Greeted with near hysterical cheers and opening with ‘Our Perfect Disease’, The Wombats made it clear that there would be no less effort put into the second showing. Norwegian born bassist Tord Øverland-Knudsen in particular showed seemingly boundless energy as he thoroughly enjoyed his evening on the stage, playing, singing and dancing.

The set list comprised of songs from both new record This Modern Glitch and The Wombat’s first offering A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation. Newer tracks such as original b-side 1996 went down a treat with fans who had come on board The Wombats’ bandwagon with the very popular release of last year’s single Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves). Told, that this was ‘one to get [the crowd] dancing’, the band’s wishes were certainly granted as the audience went wild for Backfire at the Disco and then again for the energetic Techno Fan.

Of course, ‘Tokyo (Vampire and Wolves)’ was, when it was finally played, received by the audience with screams and cheers and as the band neared the end of their set young girls had to be helped from the audience and provided water as the excitement and crowd became too much, a very rock n roll moment for both The Wombats and the girls themselves alike. Not such a rock n roll observation, but important nonetheless, is the remarkable patience that the band had for the young crowd, waiting out the screaming and shaking as many hands as they could reach without being fully engulfed by the crowd. Throwing all that they could to the adoring fans (everything from used water bottles to the taped to the floor set lists) as priceless mementos, it was clear the three young men valued those who in turn valued their music so highly.

Also noteworthy was the wonderfully clear enunciation of lead singer Matthew Murphy, which aided songs, that could from other singers just be crazily wordy and confusing, to work as hilarious stories as well as solid tunes. ‘Patricia the Stripper’ was one such example, which on the night was excellently performed, as well as ‘My First Wedding’, both songs playing with tempo and call and response within the band to give character and comedy.

With an encore being inevitable, the night ended on The Wombat’s ever popular ‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division’ and the crowded poured out of The Tivoli, sweating and satiated, but only for now, many already planning ways to be a part of The Wombats mania again.