You know it’s the Monday after Splendour when there’s a guy on someone’s shoulders still waving a gumboot around in the air – we get it, no one’s quite ready to let the weekend go. Thankfully, The Wombats were more than happy to keep the party alive for a few short hours more.
“Sydney, my sweet sugar coated cherubs, how are you?” From where front-man Matthew Murphy was standing, I’d say Sydney might have looked a little rough. If the majority of the crowd wasn’t actually at Splendour, then by the look of them, they’d squeezed in as many sideshows as possible. But it became very clear, very quickly; they had some fight left in them yet. Strobe lighting, smoke machines and hardcore britpop rock have a way of getting you back on your feet.
The high-energy support from Circa Waves certainly set the tone of the evening. The Liverpool four-piece powered through the frantic guitar riffs and hits off their recent album Young Chasers with So Long, Fossils and Stuck in My Teeth getting a very warm reception, before rounding off the set with T Shirt Weather – officially getting the hand-clap started for the evening.
The Wombats wasted no time picking up at the same pace Circa Waves left off, dropping Your Body Is A Weapon and Jump Into The Fog straight up. Moving To New York was given a bit of a metal makeover with a very heavy intro piece. Things got a little messy during Greek Tragedy, but hey, I’m guessing The Wombats may have had a pretty big weekend at Splendour as well; so understandably, we’ll cut them some slack. And they we’re more than happy to admit it. “We may have fucked that up at the end there. We are about as professional as a band of monkeys.” Bonus points for keeping it real.
They managed to get back into the swing of things with Be Your Shadow, 1996 and This Is Not A Party. However, technical difficulties sidetracked the start of Headspace. There was way too much love in the room for anyone to really care. And hell, chasing it up with Kill The Director was a great way to quickly lift the mood. Headspace eventually did get a run, before Techno Fan and The English Summer took the dance floor to the next-level.
Next up was a golden oldie with Little Miss Pipedream followed by Give Me A Try. Then, according to Murphy, it was time to get serious. “Sydney, two words: Roof. Off.” Obviously as the intro to Tokyo kicked in, Sydney happily obliged.
Despite a few hiccups throughout the evening an encore was demanded. Emoticons and Joy Division brought the night to a close. Then for some strangely excellent reason they decided to drop a cheeky riff or two of Killing In The Name Of. Because why not?
I don’t know when The Wombats decided to get badass, but I’m totally onboard with the decision. Let’s be honest, if the urge for a little Rage Against The Machine overcomes you, then you should never fight it.
Gallery: The Wombats, Circa Waves @ Sydney, Hordern Pavilion 27/7/15 / Photos: Ashley Mar