A bit slow on the mark, I only discovered Dream Wife through reviewing their third album ‘Social Lubrication’ in the summer. I really loved the album and I looked forward immensely to seeing their live show.
Dream Wife have been touring to promote ‘Social Lubrication’ and the Brixton show was their hometown show. After having a bad night’s sleep the night before, and an impending journey of an hour and a half to get there, it was almost touch and go if I would still make it. Encouraged that Dream Wife would most likely be a great band live, I persevered.
I made it on time to see the second support act Prima Queen. I enjoyed their set of catchy indie pop/rock. They sing beautiful harmonies and the chemistry between band members Louise and Kristin was evident. I did wonder why the chemistry didn’t seem to flow towards the other band members, but on an internet dig I see that Louise and Kristen are in fact best friends. They are also the front women, but although the antics between them was brilliant, I would like to give Kudos to bassist Kitty and drummer Heledd as well.
As at all gigs I attend, I love to see what type of people come to a gig. As Dream Wife are a strong feminist band, I probably would have guessed they would have a female dominant audience. However, I was wrong. The crowded gig attracted a wide variety of people. Plenty of women, yes but also plenty of men. Some people had dressed up for the occasion but others were more casual. I saw friends and couples there, and even a dad and his daughter in matching Dream Wife t-shirts.
Before Dream Wife came on stage, the first support (who I’d missed) Ash Kenazi came back onto the stage. He came on to give an important message ‘Bad Bitches to the front!” setting the tone before the band even had graced the stage. She explained that being a bad bitch is nothing to do with gender, but about looking out for the people around you. Then introduced Dream Wife to the stage.
Dream Wife did not disappoint, playing a blistering, energetic set. Inevitably, they started with the song ‘Social Lubrication’. The setlist featured the vast majority of songs from ‘Social Lubrication’ but also some older songs were also mixed in. The band were a joy to watch. The enthusiasm and passion was clear from all of them. The energy was electric as they high kicked, danced and ran around the stage. They told us that tonight was an ‘act of pleasure and a joy’ and it truly was, not only for the band but for the audience.
Not only was the energy pouring from the band in spades, but the banter and chat was great. Before playing ‘Hot (Don’t Date a Musician)’ singer Rakel asked the audience if we were feeling hot (to be fair it was bloody hot in there) and her fellow band members if they were hot. Alice Go responded with ‘yes’ as she appeared back on stage without her jacket, no top just some gaffa tape to cover her nipples. There was also a part where the audience was divided into ‘1’ and ‘2’, we were directed to cheer when our number was called. During this, we got to watch band members Alice Go and Bella stage a humorous ‘fight’ with guitar and bass.
The earlier message was repeated of BAD BITCHES TO THE FRONT, with the explanation reiterated that gender is a construct and that it’s all about keeping each other safe. It was definitely an echo of the riot grrrl ‘girls to the front’ but a modernised version. Song ‘Somebody’ was dedicated to ‘ our trans siblings and the bad bitches’. This band know how to have fun and still stand strong and make clear their view on important feminist issues.
Other highlights included the most amazing version of T.A.T.U’s ‘All the Things She Said‘ I have ever heard. Song ‘Orbit’ with a crazy full on light show, and crowd favourite ‘Leech’ with the whole crowd in unison singing ‘JUST HAVE SOME FUCKING EMPATHY’ probably ironically the most peaceful war cry I have ever heard.
If you get the chance to see Dream Wife live, you must take the opportunity. This band are the real deal. They have the electrifying songs, which you can equally rock or dance to, they have the stage presence, they have a message. I mean, what more could you really want?
- Social Lubrication
- Hey Heartbreaker
- Love You More
- So When You Gonna
- Hot (Don’t Date a Musician)
- I Want You
- Who Do You Wanna be?
- All the Things she said
Dream Wife have one more date in the UK before touring elsewhere:
Nov 4th at Mutations festival in Brighton
Article by Hayley Foster da Silva
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