DREAM WIFE – CONCORDE 2, BRIGHTON 30.10.18
Although now resident in London, tonight at Concorde 2 was a homecoming gig for Dream Wife and so the crowd was full of old friends.
The band formed in 2016 while studying visual arts at Brighton University, with roommates Rakel and Bella deciding to enlist hotshot guitarist Alice while a few Jägerbombs deep on an indie disco dance-floor, and the dayglo world of Dream Wife was born. Initially formed as a performance project, they quickly realized that their chemistry was too powerful for it to be a one time thing.
Whether consciously channelled or not, the band’s obvious reference point is 90s Brighton Riot Grrrl band Huggy Bear with whom Dream Wife share an ability to channel collective female anger into fizzing, pop – tinged punk rock. However, the girls state on their Facebook page that among the artists they like are David Bowie, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Talking Heads. Funnily enough David Byrne from the Talking Heads is also playing Brighton tonight along the road at the Brighton Centre – see our review HERE. (We were also covering The KVB – read our article HERE).
Much like (the aforementioned) Huggy Bear used to, Dream Wife also operate gigs on a “women to the front basis” and posters around the venue remind everyone to respect this. But tonight wouldn’t be sold out unless the songs were as incendiary as the rhetoric, which of course they are.
“I want to see the bad bitches flowing to the front of the room” shouts Dream Wife vocalist Rakel Mjöl,l whilst fixing the crowd with a steely gaze and off-putting smile. She has enough charisma for most bands, but Alice Go (guitar) and Bella Podpadec (bass) share the front of stage, whilst drummer Alex pounds the drums with “Somebody”’s chorus, “I am not a body, I am somebody”, kicking off the first of the all-girl mosh pits.
For such a recently formed band, Dream Wife are already highly confident and were able to get away with keeping back crowd pleasers like “Let’s Make Out” and “Hey Heartbreaker” to the end of the set.
After decades of looking the other way, in 2018 music is taking a stand again and Dream Wife join IDLES, Sleaford Mods and others in raising their voices against injustice.
Support came from Brighton band ARXX, a promising two piece with a sound that recalls The Gossip tinged with White Stripes garage rock, and Liverpool glam-punks Queen Zee.