At the heart of Brighton’s North Laine sits Resident Records, popular among those in the musical know. On Sunday night, a very select group of Wolf Alice fans witnessed the store’s transformation into an unassuming venue for a special acoustic performance from the London based four-piece band. In this spectacularly intimate setting, an audience of no more than fifty huddled around the makeshift stage for the stripped back performance.

Welcomed by a whispery hello from lead singer Ellie Rowell, nervously perched upon the shop’s counter, the band showcased their much-awaited second album, ‘Visions of a Life’. Launching into the melodic ‘Sadboy’, the powerful guitar riff set the foundations for Rowell’s exceptional vocals; the haunting echo of her voice effortlessly floated along the moody, grungy lyrics.

Having hypnotised the crowd, the band produced more jewels, including ‘Beautifully Unconventional’. The lyrics, ‘light as a feather’, were aptly fitting for her ethereal voice. The set truly blossomed during the performance of the classic ‘Bros’. The delicate acoustic arrangement evoked a folksy tone and was met with adoration.

The highlight of the set had to be the closing song, ‘Don’t Delete the Kisses’, a slow-burning track that stunned with a swirling, dreamy melody. A tale of unspoken love was beautifully narrated through her breathy spoken word monologue which erupts into the anthemic chorus. After a moment of silent awe at the end of their performance, the crowd burst into adoring applause.

Wolf Alice’s unconventionally timid style underpinned the intimacy of the evening. They indisputably proved themselves exceptional live performers, arguably outdoing their incredible recorded material. Rowell’s demure character was enchantingly intimate and dynamically supported by the talented instrumentalists.

The crowd were brought back to reality once the set finished, and excitement swelled as the signing began. Snaking around the familiar record stands after the otherworldly, intimately personal performance, we were reminded of the surreal nature of the experience.

The reality of meeting the band united the crowd in giddy excitement. Their serious onstage presence left, replaced with relaxed and cheerful personalities; they were nothing short of lovely. They took the time to chat to their fans individually and even smiled through the stream of selfies.

The evening was a testament to their brilliance and an incredible taste of what is to come in the performance at the Brighton Dome next month.

Frances Tidey

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Rhys Baker

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