I’ve avoided Metro City since I saw someone get stabbed outside on a Friday night, but the lure of seeing British indie-rock kings The Wombats proved far too strong. The Wombats are touring after the April release of their latest LP Glitterbug and stopped over in lil’ old P-town for a visit, and however questionable their venue of choice, it was a pleasant visit.
My foray into Metro City didn’t get off to the greatest start. Metro City is a nightclub at the end of the day, and one of Perth’s largest. At the door I was informed that unlike in my email from the promotor I was not in fact afforded a plus-one to the show and I would not be receiving a photo pass for the gig. Upon actually gaining entry (with my friend) I was treated to the stickiest floors of all time as I made my way into the crowd for the support act; local psych-rock enthusiasts Mt Mountain. Never in my years have I seen such a sterile crowd on such an unsanitary floor. The crowd made no indication that Mt Mountain were even on the stage, and applause after a song was virtually non-existent, which definitely gave me the vibe that the applause at the end of the set was a ‘hurry-up-and-get-off’ kinda deal.
It was a stark contrast then when the lights went down prior to The Wombats and the roar of the crowd inflicted minor hearing loss. They opened with the first single from Glitterbug, "Your Body is a Weapon", to great enthusiasm. A few songs in Matthew Murphy (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Keyboard) informed the crowd that it was in fact his 31st birthday, and during an equipment mishap the crowd filled in the gap with an impromptu performance of "Happy Birthday". They played fan favourites from the new EP, including the latest single "Be Your Shadow", and as a virgin listener of the new album it came across as much dancier than previous ventures, reminding me of Metronomy or Cut Copy. They closed out their set with probably my favourite Wombats song "Tokyo", and passed out slices of cake to people in the front rows (which was awfully nice of them). They returned for an encore with a new song from Glitterbug, "Emoticons", before closing the night with "Let’s Dance to Joy Division". It was an interesting choice, and judging by the crowd’s reaction it managed to bring everyone down post-Tokyo so that Joy Division could bring them right back.
Murphy has a charm that can only be described as effortless, and it shines through in his stage presence. The enthusiasm of the crowd throughout the whole set was probably only surpassed by the energy of Tord Knudson (Bass, Keyboard, Backing Vocals) rockin’ out on stage. It was ultimately a very entertaining show (unfortunate venue aside) and I left with a large smile across my face .