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Live Review: The Wombats, Cloud Control, Eves Karydas

16 November 2018 | 6:42 pm | Ash Westwood

"An endless wave of three- to four-minute bangers."

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The Wombats dropped into Red Hill Auditorium last night for the first stop of their national tour. Their latest album Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life was released to critical acclaim earlier this year and stuck true to their signature riff-packed style of indie rock.

For a Thursday night at Red Hill, the whole place was buzzing with a feeling of nostalgia. The Wombats were the soundtrack to the late '00s, with a stonking debut album helping to define a nation’s tumultuous teenage years. So it was no surprise by 8pm that the amphitheatre was close to its 5000 capacity.

The night kicked off with Eves Karydas, a synth-pop indie-soul queen jamming to a bright and airy set with danceable beats and a commanding stage presence. Karydas killed it. After a short intermission, indie rock darlings Cloud Control took to the stage to bubble-up the crowd ready for the headline act, delivering a tight set of jams.

Eves Karydas @ Red Hill Auditorium. Pic by Brendan Cecich.

 

At 10pm, the lights went down as The Wombats quietly filed out before bursting into Cheetah Tongue, the first song off their latest album. The tune was met with an instant roar from the crowd before the entire general-admission-come-mosh-pit began chanting along. The atmosphere was undeniable, and the first song quickly set the vibe for the night.

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Next up came the ballad Give Me A Try before hits like 1996 and Black Flamingo continued to get the crowd going. A string of highlights quickly followed, including Lemon To A Knife Fight, Bee-Sting and Pink Lemonade. With the enthusiasm of the crowd not wilting as the night rolled on, everyone was on their feet, dancing and singing along to hits that go as far back as 2005.

Cloud Control @ Red Hill Auditorium. Pic by Brendan Cecich.

 

As always, sound and stage production at Red Hill was world-class. A highlight for The Wombats’ set was a hidden LED screen covering the back wall of the stage, showing cute wombat-themed animations pertinent to the name of each song, adding another level of quirkiness alongside the awesome light show.  

To round up the night, it was time for a few highlights from their earlier years, including Moving To New York and one of their most iconic songs, Let’s Dance To Joy Division, which culminated in a 5000-strong singalong throughout.

The genius of seeing a band like The Wombats live is the length and intensity of their songs. It's an endless wave of three to four-minute bangers so you feel like you’ve bloody well got your money’s worth after they've only spent an hour on stage. The Wombats offer a tight, technical and flawless performance from one three minute jaunt to another. 

The Wombats @ Red Hill Auditorium. Pic by Brendan Cecich

 

As they left the stage and the lights went down, the inevitable call for an encore began. It was lead singer Matthew Murphy who rejoined the stage with an acoustic guitar. One enthusiastic punter screamed out Wonderwall - obviously, but Lethal Combination was the tune of choice. Shortly after, the rest of the band came out and launched into a thundering rendition of Turn.

The encore was finished with huge hit Greek Tragedy before Murphy closed the set and left the crowd brimming with a warm feeling of satisfaction and nostalgia. The Wombats brought the same energy and passion to Red Hill last night, just as they would have when they burst onto the scene 15 years ago. It was one hell of a party start to finish.