The Wombats At The Bootleg HiFi: Gig Review

Photo: Joyce Jude Lee

It’s a mystery why The Wombats haven’t taken over the world with their massive tunes and witty banter. The band has been around for a long time, but have still been kept as a gem in the indie world, shielded from mainstream America. But things may change with their third album, “Glitterbug,” due out on April 7th. On their third effort, The Wombats have teamed up with producer Mark Crew (Bastille, To Kill A King) who has helped churn out mega-hits like “Pompeii.”

For those of you unacquainted with the band, they sound like a cross between Two Door Cinema Club meets Foster The People, but grungier and glittery at the same time, and I mean that in the as the highest compliment. Their music and live shows are chock full of the energy embodied and exhibited by all three band members, Matthew “Murph” Murphy, Tord Knudsen and Dan Haggis.

The three liverpool lads, though jetlagged and all, brought their energetic selves to Los Angeles, the city that inspired a few tracks off the new album, and played to a surprisngly animated afternoon crowd at the Bootleg Hifi. The band kicked things off with “Your Body Is A Weapon” and “Moving To New York,” and soon after, the guitar pedal gave out and left Murph guitarless. In true English fashion, Dan and Murph exchanged some hilarious banter (jokingly saying the pedals are only used to cold English weather) which just improved the show.

Photo: Joyce Jude Lee

Moving on like champions, the band played “Techno Fan” and “Kill The Director,” two old favorites that absolutely ignited the few bystanders who did not catch onto the set as early as others did. Everyone had their hands up and chanted and clapped along as if they had actually missed The Wombats and their live shows (their last album was released in 2011).

People were headbanging left and right, and engaging in playful conversations with the friendly band between songs, which is a rare sight these days. After playing other oldies, The Wombats tested out their new single “Greek Tragedy,” to an extremely receptive crowd, many of whom sang along at the top of their lungs whilst jumping up and down.

Photo: Joyce Jude Lee

Photo: Joyce Jude Lee

The band closed the set with a trio of their best hits, including “Tokyo,” and “Let’s Dance To Joy Division,” which has been a long-time cult favorite amongst indie fans. Before exiting the stage, the talented trio shredded as if they were a grungy garage band in the cardboarded room and thanked the energetic crowd for physically and mentally showing up to such a special show.

That was truly an one-of-a-kind gig, a band of this size rarely plays such intimate venues. But if you missed this show, fret not, The Wombats will play The Fonda Theater on May 12 in promotion of “Glitterbug.” Don’t miss out this time around.

[video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MHmx9nvHqU%5D
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