"I'm going to be honest, Melbourne, my voice is absolutely fucked so you're going to have to sing along tonight!"
It's clear The Wombats have washed the mud off their shoes and aren't suffering from any kind of Splendour hangover as they hit the stage at Margaret Court Arena tonight.
They have a tough act to follow in Circa Waves, who really get everyone in the indie rock zone with their roaring beats and sweet guitar riffs. Without any hesitation and in a burst of energy The Wombats leap, literally, into the first song of the set, Your Body Is A Weapon, from their latest Glitterbug album. It's a sea of swaying arms and good vibes as the crowd gear up for the rest of the show.
A few songs in Matthew Murphy loudly whispers, "I'm going to be honest, Melbourne, my voice is absolutely fucked so you're going to have to sing along tonight!" We thought you would never ask! It's one massive singalong to Moving To New York and there's not one person here with their arse in their seat.
Until now it's been high-energy, killer extended intros and what appears to be the perfect set but then there's a lull. Some of the energy seems to have disappeared and the crowd is feeling it. Did that Splendour hangover just kick in? 1996 and Headspace are the songs that suffer the most tonight and Tord Øverland Knudsen on bass tries his hardest to keep the buzz alive by jumping around the stage but it's just not happening. Murphy realises and is quick to get things back on track as he tells everyone in the most English way possible, "We encourage singing and dancing, just fucking go for it, like!" That does it and everyone is charged back up. The Techno Fan intro starts and it's just what's needed. There's clapping, dancing and snogging? Yep, even snogging.
Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter
After that minor hiccup The Wombats smash the rest of the show with big melodies and diverse alt-rock sounds. Give Me A Try, Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves) and Kill The Director get everyone going and so far are the absolute standout tracks of the night.
They exit the stage and the roadies are beginning to pack up the stage. What, no encore? The audience seems confused. Then, after about two minutes they make their way back onto the stage. Two thumbs up for theatrics, guys. They play Emoticons, which is well received by all but not as well received as Let's Dance To Joy Division, which goes off. It's the song everyone has been waiting for. Then, out of nowhere The Wombats get all rebellious and start smashing out an instrumental cover of Killing In The Name. Where the hell did that come from? Who cares because it's bloody brilliant!