February 1, 2018

Wombats rock Venue in Vancouver

conor graham nightmair creative wombats

On a balmy Tuesday night, The Wombats came into town and blew the roof off of the Venue Nightclub. But before they took the stage Nation of Language and Future Feats performed.

Nation of Language, a three-piece band from New York opened the show with an androgynous form of new wave dance rock. Ian Devaney commanded the stage with a confident awkwardness expressed in his dance moves. The bassist and keyboardist back Devaney musically, they were both cool and collected, which let Devaney go wild. What really made The Nation of Language special was the contrast between the electronic, almost industrial feel of the music and the romantic feel of the singing. As a live show, Nation of Language is an exciting and fresh experience.

Future Feats took the stage next, bringing a much harder rock vibe to the night. Future Feats slammed the audience with an intense rhythm section; drums were being hit so loudly they threatened to drown out the rest of the band. But luckily Future Feat’s lead singer and lead and rhythm guitar’s would not go down without a fight. Highlights of Future Feats performance includes their songs, “Cities In Wonder” and “27”. But as much as the band battled for individual attention they were at their best when they were all working together, playing in unison, they reached another level.

Setting the stage perfectly with a mix of both new wave and alternative rock Nation of Language and Future Feats gave way to the ultimate performance, the reason the crowd assembled that night, The Wombats.

From the get-go, the crowd was on board for The Wombats. Starting with “Cheetah Tongue” from their as yet unreleased album The Wombats lit Venue on fire, pulling the crowd into a massive party.

Throughout the next couple songs bassist Tord Øverland Knudsen proved to be the most excited member in the band, leaping across the stage while Matthew Murphy (lead singer, guitarist) and Dan Haggis (drummer) remained stoic. That is, until they started their fourth song of the night, “Kill The Director” when each member of the band and the crowd before them, started to rock out. The band played the song so intensely that it could have been their closer. (see video below)

Throughout the concert, the band sufficiently revved up the crowd, when they played “Techno Fan” you could feel the entire crowd stomping their feet. When they performed “Lemon to a Knife Fight,” I watched the people at the very back of the crowd dance as fervently as the people at the front.

For the most part, The Wombats performance was much more rock and roll than I had expected. But for a couple of songs, like “Jump Into The Fog” Matthew Murphy moved over to the keyboards. For most of the show they were playing straight rock songs, and the crowd was reacting like only a rock crowd would which was by going insane.

Another moment during the show which, I think, cemented Tord Øverland Knudsen as the wildest rock bassist in music was when he fell onto his back on stage and kept playing. During the song “The English Summer,” which at this point in the show was being played at a very fast pace, Tord was, again jumping across the stage when he tripped and slammed onto his back. To Murphy’s amazement, he kept the baseline strong, got back up and finished the song.

Of the songs The Wombats played, I think my favourites and the entire crowd’s favourites were the songs off of the first album. “Moving To New York,” “Here Comes The Anxiety” and “Let’s Dance To Joy Division” got the crowd on their feet and moving.

Although they seemed to be enjoying every song The Wombats played on a very high level, even as they played their encore songs which included, “Turn,” “Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves) and “Greek Tragedy,” women were dancing atop men’s shoulders, and the crowd was still ready to party.

After the experience that was a Wombats concert, I think one this is safe to say, Vancouver is ready to see The Wombats return.

written by Conor Graham


Check out Wombats Kill the Director live at Venue



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