The Wombats, Live Music Hall Cologne, 02/10/2019 (+ image gallery)

The Wombats Live Music Hall Koeln Photo by patsch1

Bands sometimes feel like they are old school friends. Every few years you meet again, at the beginning you are still sniffing each other, is unsure whether you still can with each other. After this habituation phase one either comes to the conclusion that in the past months and years so much has happened and the other – for whatever reason – just can not stand anymore and tortured by food or coffee around the whole thing as quickly as possible to bring themselves together or fall back into old patterns and enjoy the old times, the many stories.

The Wombats are among the first Indie Rock bands, which I got in 2011 from the swamp of the Indie landscape thrown against. The three gentlemen who once met at Paul McCartney’s “Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts” stunned me with their concentrated energy, which took itself through the very danceable indie-pop anthems, but their full power in the many Schrammel parts unfolded. Again and again, the three Britons knew how to break their sound without being forced to look rough. This was followed by a grand concert visit to the Cologne Palladium, where not only the band proved that they can carry their energy into the concert halls, but also the audience was fully at the start – the Circle Pit in the reef expansion of “Let’s Dance To Joy Division “is still one of the greatest I’ve ever seen in the elongated former industrial hall.

After that, the musicians and I developed in completely opposite directions. The band focused less on guitars and more on punky indie summer smashers, my taste in music broadened, focusing mainly on more tricky and unconventional music. A rather disappointing performance in March 2015 could not break anything here – the Wombats and I just could not get along. Last year, the trio of frontman Matthew Murphy released a new record, which I liked much better than its predecessor “Glitterbug”, but still could not inspire 100%. I lacked the energy. Now the trio came to Cologne for the second time with this almost one-year-old album – why not pay a visit to the spectacle and see if there is still a bit of old love between the British and me?

The snappy guitar indie of the Circa Waves came as a warm-up program exactly located. The quartet is clearly based on the danceable grooves of the “School of ’05”, but mixes this basic construct a little summer feeling and alternative rock, so that the appearance of the young musicians feels like a happy reunion with old acquaintances, but at the same time enough tension remains, so that one has the feeling, despite the nostalgic mood not only about the common past to speak. Some of the other guests seem to be familiar with the English – occasionally, the first refrain to catch up is during the catchy choruses. Nice.

Despite the two-act prelude, the crowd is not 100 percent warmed up, but the wombats are starting to slow down the thing with “Cheetah Tongue”, the opener of the current long player. Immediately afterwards, the indie hymn “Moving To New York” should be the end of serenity, but the song is not really overpowering – the flower telecaster of frontman Matthew Murphy is missing Zerre. Even the rest of the audience seems to notice that first fans are already starting to dance, but the mood is not quite there yet. Does the reunion with the wombats therefore remain one that you quickly forget?

No, after all, we have sundays. It may also take a few minutes until everyone is completely at the start. Already at the following “Jump Into The Fog” the missing noise is completely there. I catch myself losing myself so slowly in the performance. Here are some newer pieces, all of which live much more fun than the slick recordings on the turntable. Yes, even the dull “emoticons” is clear. At “Lemon To A Knife Fight”, the mood has reached its climax for the first time – it’s really fun!

Again and again, the three wombats that sweep across the stage like whirlwinds also scatter songs their first two records, which the audience accepts with a hand kiss. Especially at “Techno Fan” and the Outro of “Kill The Director” quakes the Moshpit. The three Britons also seem to have a sense of humor over the years not to have lost – so singer Murphy notes between two songs that it rains down through the hall ceiling on him, where drummer Dan Haggis suspected a targeted attack of her guitar technician. Later, to the overpower of “Let’s Dance To Joy Division”, human-sized wombats – yes, the animals – dash across the stage. Hach. The fact that I feel entertained and clearly enjoy the 90-minute performance, the three new songs in the encore can not change anything – the band has revived an old friendship in me today. Up to eight years.

You can buy the current album “Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life” here. *

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The picture rights are attached (c) Patrick Schulze.

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