Wolf Alice have had a cracking couple of years. From the certified gold debut album to the Mercury Prize nomination to the ever-expanding glitter-coated fan base, the London quartet have cemented their position in the British indie scene. With the release of their sophomore effort Visions of a Life on the horizon, we talked to guitarist Joff Oddie about success, recording in Los Angeles, and why he’s not a fan of social media.
I was skipping along Buchanan Street to Natasha Bedingfield’s ‘Unwritten’ last month, smiling because it felt like I was finally living out the opening sequence of scripted-reality masterpiece The Hills, albeit with less sun and more pigeons. Then my heart sank. I realised, in one panic-fuelled moment, that I had forgotten to do something really important.
Dig out your low rise jeans, don the spangliest crop top you can get your hands on and pretend Paris Hilton is still being photographed answering calls on a diamante flip phone… Steps and The Vengaboys are touring this year, giving us grounds to temporarily re-inhabit the glory years of the late 90s/early 2000s. Steps celebrate their twentieth birthday in May and, in honour of their 2017 tour, we started thinking about which artists from recent times (active or inactive) we want to see tour again two decades from now.
Dir. Julia Midtgard, Stereo, 5th – 7th June
Shopping and Fucking. That’s the title of Mark Ravenhill’s 1996 play, and it’s one guaranteed to weed out the faint-hearted among us. It’s a name that might leave anyone of a prudish disposition hovering outside the box office, unsure of how to proceed. ‘Can I have tickets for Shopping and… Shopping and Fu– oh, never mind’, you can practically hear someone spluttering before turning away and heading off home, ticketless. Shopping and Fucking isn’t for the easily perturbed. It’s that provocative.
“My friend Anna’s going to be at the gig tonight,” I say excitedly to my flatmate between mouthfuls of cheap wine one Saturday evening. “It’ll be good to see her.”
“That’s nice,” my flatmate responds, feigning interest. “How do you know Anna, exactly?”
This question stumps me, for I suddenly realise that I don’t know Anna in the traditional sense at all. I know she loves lo-fi indie. I know she has a penchant for rom-coms with dodgy plotlines. I know she has an unadulterated crush on Jeremy Corbyn. What I don’t know is where she works, what her family life is like or what her most profound fears are. I’m not even sure I know her last name. Jones? Smith? Shit. I have absolutely no idea.
Barrowlands Ballroom, 16/11
If the British indie scene of today is merely an extension of high school, then Wolf Alice are – unquestionably – the coolest kids in the canteen. They’re the kind that loll against walls with earphones in, quietly toe-tapping while everyone else scurries along to class. The kind that you fantasise about swapping old records with as you sit, slack-jawed, in third period maths. They’re the kind you just know have a few stick-and-poke tattoos concealed beneath their shirtsleeves. They radiate coolness, even if they’re not aware of it themselves.