Review: Wild Front at Engine Rooms, Southampton

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80%
80
Fantastic

A great performance by the Southampton-based band with an enthusiastic crowd; an overall fantastic evening out.

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A dark night and slightly eerie location, for a student shamefully new to Engine Rooms, were ultimately no match for the crowd there to see Wild Front‘s largest headline show yet. The show itself sold out just the day before, to much excitement on the band’s social media. With previous acts at Reading and Leeds, as well as Southampton’s own local festival, Common People, the Southampton-based band is definitely on the rise. I myself, having only heard of Wild Front in the month leading up to this concert, was awaiting the performance with high hopes, but also awaiting the doors opening, having not expected the half an hour delay in the cold.

Still, despite a slightly late start, supporting acts Toreador and Collision put in fantastic and incredibly enthusiastic performances. Especially noteworthy was Collision’s lead singer Lewis Smith, who barely paused to breathe in between jumping and the not-so-occasional fist pump. The alternative rock, and then the indie pop/rock band were fantastic support choices, complimenting Wild Front’s genre and music range excellently. Both support acts are also local, so any fan of Wild Front may want to keep an eye out in the future!

The first crowd of people was smaller than initially felt comfortable in the wide open hall space, but by 9.30pm, with Collision having wound down, and the audience preparing for the arrival of the band du jour, the hall had become packed. Making the admittedly novice mistake, I went back to the bar for a drink, arrived back just as Wild Front arrived on stage, and was now stuck significantly further back from my original position. Still, the extra distance in no way diminished the eager atmosphere and sense of thrill as the band immediately launched into their first song, ‘Make You Feel’. Opening with their latest release was a great choice to kick start their set, getting everyone even more enthused. The addition of some unexpectedly fantastic harmonising was definitely appreciated. Meanwhile, the somewhat bewilderingly large lamp that had been on stage all night now felt weirdly in place as the band continued their set, adding a homely vibe to an already intimate venue.

Whilst their performance on-stage outside of playing songs could do with some improvement, coming off slightly stiff and awkward, the quartet clearly enjoyed performing just as much as the crowd enjoyed the performance. Wild Front also teased the crowd with a new song, ‘Confetti’, which has not yet been released. As the name may suggest, the song was slightly more upbeat than previous singles, but still felt comfortably in line with Wild Front’s distinct style, and definitely a single to watch out for.

By the end of the night, Wild Front were ending the gig to loud cheering from a well-entertained crowd. Overall, Wild Front gave a brilliant performance, and I would recommend keeping an eye out for them as they return to Southampton next year. In the meantime, it’s more than worth taking the time to check their music out!

See the music video for ‘Make You Feel’ below.

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