The Wombats / Darlia

o2 Academy, Newcastle, UK

Having formed back in 2003, The Wombats are one of those bands that continue to bring together fans of all ages whether it be back in the early days or today. For many they are a band who influence your music tastes when your first starting out – musician and music lovers alike. Why? Simple they are so down right awesome! Therefore having been on the road for the past few weeks, I was fortunate to go along to their show at the O2 Academy when their UK tour ended in Newcastle.

I don’t know about anyone else but when I know that it’s the last day of any tour it gives me an extra bit of adrenaline because you know that as far as Wombats are concerned, you're in for something special.

Before I come to The Wombats however I need to draw your attention to one of the awesome support artists on the tour, namely Blackpool based band Darlia. One of the most fantastic up and coming bands in the UK scene at the minute, Darlia have been working over time to get their music out to the crowds following their recent release out phenomenal EP, Petals. I had only ever heard Darlia’s recorded material therefore to be able to see a live performance by these inspirational guys was just a perfect start to the night. From initial impressions I would say that Darlia strike me as a group of guys who love their music, and deliver it way that is stylish and smooth. Looking around the room I can tell that some of the crowd were probably thinking the same.

The role of supporting bands is so crucial, because a lot of time although you may go to a show predominately to see the headliner, when you have bands such as Darlia involved in the mix, you go away discovering a new artist you may not have considered before.

After an impressive 45 minute set or so by the Blackpool trio, it was time for the stage to get ready for our special hosts for the night, The Wombats. Even during the wait you could see the crowd getting excited, with everyone shuffling as close to the front as possible to get the best view. Here is a question for you…you're at the closing show of a Wombats tour. Where is the best place to stand for maximum satisfaction? In the case of the O2 Academy – EVERYWHERE!

As soon as The Wombats enter the room you can see every single fan in the stalls and on the balcony on their feet, drink in hand singing and dancing to their heart's content. It certainly is one of the most exhilarating environments to be in. The band have been around for 12 years now so to engage ALL fans and take us on a journey of their career they treat us to a mixture of classics and newer material. One of my favourites was ‘Give Me A Try’ followed closely by ‘Greek Tragedy’. Just thinking about those songs right now makes me want to get up and have a 1man moshing session right here and now haha! I know that sounds extreme, but in all seriousness this is the effect brilliant bands such as The Wombats have on people – and hell there is no shame in it!!

When it came to the newer material it was great to see how even after all this time the band are still going strong. With their latest album out which was released not so long ago, you can see that they continue to make their music fresh and exciting to their fans. In some respects you kind of picked up hints of a bit of 1975-esque in some of their latest tracks.

So how do you end the last show of a exceptional UK headline tour? In the case of the Wombats you come back on stage to perform the most insane encore ever, and then have the members Murph, Dan and Tord jump off stage and stand in the crowd, with a bit of crowd surfing thrown in for added measure!

A show that leaves you excited before, during and after – that’s the Wombats for you – hell yea!!!

By Thushara S. Chandrasiri

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