The Wombats

As playful as a shoe full of kittens, and as poppy as a Dutch field.

Date: September 22, 2011

Venue: Rock City

Upon their arrival back in 2007, The Wombats’ ambition would have been to claw their way into the charts with their insanely catchy singles.

Mission accomplished, then, when the likes of Let’s Dance To Joy Division, Moving To New York and – to a lesser extent – Kill The Director all registered high chart positions and claimed the fanbase their glossy pop was destined to attract.

The problem is, it’s now 2011, and that nascent mob has no doubt filled the four-year void with mal-nourished pop music.

The Wombats’ task on this tour, then, is to regain their crowd; to awaken its dormant public. Their weapon of choice is the trusted synth. They were never morbid sods anyway, but new record This Modern Glitch appears all the more ebullient thanks to its electronic slickness. But what has also worked in their favour is their appearances on such atrocities as T4’s turgid ‘…on the Beach’ vom-fest which has handed them a vast teenage audience.

Indeed, it’s wall to wall teens in Rock City’s main hall. Everywhere you turn a giddy girl is knocking back a crafty alco-pop, and you’re never more than an emphatic ‘OMG’ away from a floppy fringe. If this is the audience The Wombats are aiming their pop canon at, then bullseye, direct hit, because almost every song – even those now four years old – are gleefully received by the ‘yoof’.

Obviously it’s the singles which pump the most bounce into the place. Not that they rely solely on those. Album favourites 1996 and their forth-coming single Our Perfect Disease are also well received.

But alas, Jump Into the Fog, Techno Fan and Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves) fizz with the same effervescent verve that their predecessors so brazenly possessed four years ago.

They end, typically, with Let’s Dance To Joy Division, a song that encouraged teenagers to discover Joy Division, think “what’s this depressing dirge?”, and wait patiently for The Wombats’ return instead. Their wait is over. And for them at least, it was worth it.

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