Live Review: Dream Wife – Liverpool

Dream Wife

The Magnet, Liverpool, October 12th 2017

Words: Gary Lambert
Photos: Graham Smilie

I’m a bit older than the kids at gigs today, so I don’t know if they have scrapbooks and memory boxes. But if they did (and I’m sure at least the quirky ones rebelling against social media will have), this gig would have been comfortably predicted to be worthy of inclusion in such real media. The fact that the local support came from Chester’s Peaness made it a must see gig for me and thankfully Popped Music. That the actual poster bands were Sløtface and Dream Wife made it impossible to forgo. Even when I realised that I had left my gig clothes at home, I was not risking driving to get them and getting stuck in traffic, so I ended up seriously overdressed for a basement club watching rock bands in my meetings-with-the-bosses suit straight from work.

 

With a brilliantly childish name and a classic rock band three piece look, if you hadn’t listened to them you would expect a rough and angry sound that requires a lot of sweating and jumping. However, what actually happens is that you get to listen to harmonies and stripped down Beach Boys inspired numbers that makes the world around you seem to be invisible, and possibly lemon-scented. Peaness are a band you could lose track of days listening to if they had enough material available. I’m planning a lost weekend in about 2023 when they’ve got a few albums released for sure. In the meantime, I’m not going to miss a gig of theirs when it is wherever I am be it in my city, at a festival, or wherever else people might play by 2023.

 

Sløtface were next up and from rock music influenced by Californian music, the influence travelled up the Pacific coast of the USA to Washington State, and in particular, Seattle 1988-1994. Instantly this Norwegian band that I’d heard but never caught grabbed me with a combination of depth and volume. It was the kind of band I want to hear, but as much as I enjoyed each track, I did find the overall set a bit one-paced. A few times songs built in the hope that they would come crashing down with riotous abandon yet ticked over disappointingly. However, the noticeable number of Sløtface fans seem pretty made up with the set, so I’d go with their judgement and not mine.

 

Then I spied with my little eye the bad bitches who were headlining the night. Dream Wife are one of those bands who you cannot believe are not massive already, despite slight hindrances like not having an album out yet. They sound fantastic, they look like a band should, and they give you a feeling that you are about to get lost in an hour of pure rock n roll. The latter of the three was proven to be true by the time I bumped into their Icelandic lead singer, Rakel Mjoll, at the merch desk at the end of the show. “That was fucking brilliant” I panicked into shouting at her – and then rushed out of the building pretty much. I’m not very cool with dealing with bands I’ve just watched play brilliantly.

 

Why was the show so brilliant? Well in the last few months the Dream Wife set has, in my opinion, managed to take the raw, aggressive, listenable punk rock, and increased like the Incredible Hulk getting angry. All the elements are still there, and in pretty much the same sort of proportions, yet it felt so much greater as a whole. And the band have blossomed from it. The first time I saw Dream Wife I swooned at their aggression and edge; now I’m pretty much besotted with their confidence on stage. Rakel postures and poses like a femme fatale making you feel enamoured and terrified; whilst Alice and Bella provide a dynamic rock god contrast until Rakel makes the world know that she is their equal as a deity of singing and theatrical violence. This maelstrom on stage, like the best gigs, makes the outside world dissolve.

 

Once again, I will say I’m Dream Wife for life!

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    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

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