Photography & Words: Adam R. Harrison
Liverpool indie band, The Wombats, paid a visit to Toronto’s Danforth Music Hall over the Halloween weekend in promotion of their latest album Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life.
Kicking off the evening was English singer, songwriter, musician, Barns Courtney, who ignited his fuse as soon as he touched down on stage, so much so he almost tripped over his own equipment during the opening song “Fun Never Ends.” Courtney breathed life into the audience as they got behind his string of tunes like “99,” “Glitter & Gold” and “Golden Dandelions.” On more than one occasion Courtney joined in the action by taking his craft into the crowd. During the finale of his hit song “Fire,” he had everyone crouching on the floor with him before giving it all in a mad jumping fit for the final chorus. Keep an ear open for this kid, you’ll be hearing a lot more from him soon.
The Wombats opened their 80-minute set with “Cheetah Tongue” from their new album. Singer and guitarist, Matthew Murphy, threw his signature witty lyrics at us while bassist, Tord Øverland Knudsen, pounced around centre stage, continuously raising his axe to the sky. Fan favourites like “Give Me a Try,” “Moving to New York,” and “Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves)” had the audience chanting along and bouncing whole heartedly, some even in costume. During the main set finale of “Let’s Dance to Joy Division,” Murphy and Knudsen gained dance partners as they were joined on stage by a couple of boogying teddy bears.
The highlight of the encore was “Turn,” their lead single from Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life. The crowd of course popped for the lyric referencing our local ambassador, “They say the best memories are the ones that we forget, like listening to Drake at your best friend’s swimming pool.” As the lighting turned, a massive shadow of Murphy was cast along the side of the venue, looming over the audience as The Wombats concluded the night with “Greek Tragedy.” “I love this feeling, but I hate this part.” Appropriate parting words and mutual feeling between band and audience.