It was one of those nights. The venue seemed full already, yet groups of people still filtered into the crowd like water into sand.
As such, I was forced to pitch up by the back bar (definitely forced, promise) which, to be fair, allowed me to overhear everyone eagerly guessing which song they were about to play as they tuned their guitars before each song. Of course, they were always right.
Like all grungy indie bands, Wunderhorse picked an entrance song that has the audience chomping at the bit – this time in the form of Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland.
Poppy, the opener, quite largely summarises the album and sets out the agenda. With only 46 words in the four-minute song, we have Jacob Slater’s (Wunderhorse) signature melancholic yet enchanting vocals covering the first two and leading us into a frenetic display of wild instrumental showmanship.
This ability to flick between extreme speeds and moods more often than driving up North on the M1 carried on throughout the night. Pockets of mosh pits opened up for songs such as Leader of The Pack, and in the same show, crowd members hushed others for talking during the more delicate sections like Morphine.
Collectively, they made fewer mistakes than Arctic Monkeys who are now on album seven. I’m not sure who controlled who, the instruments or the band. At one point, Slater was definitely barking into the mic as singing at max volumes just wasn’t releasing enough of his energy. It was as pleasant to watch as it was to listen.
In the slipstream of debut album, Cub’s, success, Slater has managed to fill the Lafayette with adoring fans who appreciate each note of the music as much as Slater himself.
As the first headline show since its release, I can explicitly tell you that you’re in for a treat.
These are the forming years. The moments that mould Wunderhorse. The music may mature, the venues will get bigger, and Slater will command the crowds differently, but there will always be traces of these early beginnings that trickle through into the future.
Some will go on to miss these early years of Wunderhorse and the raw energy that’s baked into its creation, but most will be excited to see its development – and with an album like Cub mixed with Slater and the gang’s energy on stage, if you blink you’ll have missed the come up.
Wunderhorse has just announced their first UK and Ireland headline tour next year after supporting Fontaines D.C. next month, with tickets going on sale on 28th October – be sure to get in on this.