The Wombats 5/18 Wonder Ballroom Review

Written by on May 20, 2015

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Back in the day when iTunes was the main source of music downloading, I would download the weekly free song from time to time. Almost eight years ago I found myself particularly intrigued by a catchy, upbeat song from a young British band. “Let’s Dance to Joy Division” by The Wombats is a song that has been on my radar since I first downloaded it. I was psyched to hear that this very band was coming to Portland, because it gave me the opportunity to see a band from my childhood.

The Wombats are comprised of Matthew Murphy, Dan Haggis, and Tord Øverland Knudsen. They hail from Liverpool, England and started making music together around 2003. Over the next few years, the band released a few EPs before releasing their first album A Guide to Love, Loss, and Desperation in 2007. Although it was not until around 2008 that the band started to acquire fans in the United States. As they gained popularity here in the states, they were signed to the Bright Antenna record label and recorded their second studio album This Modern Glitch, which was released in 2011. They actually just released their third studio album Glitterbug around a month ago, which was a perfect kick-off to their current tour.

While the Wonder Ballroom was not tightly packed, The Wombats brought a fair share of fans to the space. When the show started, I quickly realized that the energy in the room was so exuberant, that lack of a big crowd was ignorable. We were soon greeted by lead singer Matthew Murphy’s charming English accent. After a few songs, the band played one of their hits “Moving to New York”, which really got the crowd excited. They even took time in between songs to joke around with their stage crew. Murphy joked at one point with a crew member by telling him, “You know what they say about big fingers…big gloves.” Moments like this made it really enjoyable to be part of this lively crowd and atmosphere. While The Wombats’ new sound is much more poppy than I prefer, I still had a really good time seeing them perform here in Portland, Oregon.

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