I’ve always been a fan of furry marsupials, so many years ago, when I heard of a band called the Wombats, I thought “this band is setting a damn high standard”. But since that day British Band: The Wombats have never failed to overcome those high expectations and amaze me with their sheer musical brilliance. This three piece band are arguably the greatest thing to happen to music in Liverpool since The Beatles, consisting of Matthew (Merv) Murphy, Dan Haggis and Tod Overland Knudsenbut. I spoke to Dan earlier this year (listen to it, before you read on), so suffice to say I was very excited for this gig.
The Wombats graced our sun burnt shores for the 10th anniversary of their first album, A Guide to Love, Loss and Desperation and of course Groovin’ The Moo 2017.
Their Sydney performance at the Opera House was a surprise. Overlooking Circular Quay and the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House is arguably the most iconic Sydney venue. Here, you expect the opera, you expect an orchestra, but the Wombats?
Initially, I thought of the Opera House as quite an odd venue for them, but the Wombats, as they always seem to do, proved me wrong. Within the first 10 seconds, the entire audience was on their feet, a position that was set to remain for the entire 90 minute gig. The atmosphere was electric and the crowd drooled as the Wombat’s begun yet another sensational performance. Starting off with all time classics like ‘Kill the Director’, ‘Moving to New York’, ‘1996’, and one of my personal favourites ‘Give me a Try’, the night was set to be glorious. Lit with three Harry Potter Quiddich-esq rings, the stage glowed and changed colours. Smoke burst from the stage, perfectly suiting their track ‘Jump into the fog’. In honour of the anniversary of their first album, the band dusted off a range of their earlier songs, and finished with more recent songs like ‘Technofan’, ‘Emoticons’, and another crowd favourite ‘Tokyo’.
Despite sweating in their fine black suits, the trio were clearly having a good time, engaging with the audience and cracking jokes. I just want to stop here for a moment and appreciate arguably one of the most charismatic bass players that I have had the privilege to watch Tod Overland Knudsenbut. He was constantly jumping around the stage, flinging his bass around and even seemingly breaking a few strings, but wow was I impressed.
The band left after ‘Tokyo’, only to return with Dan and his iconic drum intro for one of their greatest tracks, ‘Greek Tragedy’. Then, out of no-where appeared a bunch of people dressed in Wombat suits dancing along to ‘Let’s Dance To Joy Division’, the final song of the night. The conclusion to this energy filled concert could not have been more perfect with that song choice and those furry dancing wombats. The Wombats once again blew me away and I can’t wait until they release their new album (finger’s crossed within the year) and once again return to the home of their name, Australia. If you ever get a chance, give these furry Liverpoolian musicians a try, you won’t regret it!
By Harry Rutner