The Holloways and Wombats
@ Leeds Rios

As I stand in the sweaty crowd, wondering if this is how sardines feel, I have to remind myself who is actually headlining tonight. The whole horde sticks their arms in the air chanting “This is no, Bridget Jones” from The Wombats ‘Kill The Director.’ It was only early and no sign from the boys yet...

The Wombats came out to a roar as they took centre stage. I had to hand it to them, they had real showmanship, from their flawless riffs to their cheeky banter, they really knew how to work the crowd. The lights turned red and the crowd bounced in appreciation. I couldn’t help but ask if this was what Elvis Presley did for his generation.

Once they had finished, half naked boys, and girls who were much sweatier than acceptable, piled onto the street. As the bouncers struggled to keep the euphoric smokers onto the pavements, each person was a buzz with glee. These guys were going to be a hard act to follow!

One sound board, three cigarettes and two and a half cans of strongbow later, Alfie Jackson came to look for the toilet. After being mildly disgusted by the little boys room he sneaked into the disabled toilet where some alcohol fuelled minors attempted to hold him hostage. A stern looking bouncer glanced at them and Alfie was freed.

Bryn Fowler came and stood by us and nodded in acknowledgement due to our earlier interview, and the boys were ready to roll. Opening promptly they really made the stage their own. I really was wondering if they could pull it back after The Wombats, but somehow they managed it.

Playfully dancing around the chords and their more than infectious melodies the happy audience got more than their monies worth. With new and old songs alike they were really enchanting. Somehow making a dark cold night in Stoke feel like a warm summer day at an Irish festival they left everybody happy and joyous, and definitely wanting more. Well done The Holloways.

Lyndsey Green