image: Dream Wife, Joanna Kiely
The glam grunge trio won over The Vaccines crowd with a short but meaningful selection of compelling tracks.
The London-based British-Icelandic group, formed as part of a ‘fake girl band’ art project in Brighton in 2014. The trio soon got booked for gigs after the popularity of their mockumentary ‘Spinal Tap’ and their mesmeric public performance at a gallery exhibition for their project finale. After writing a few more songs, and touring more profusely, even reaching Canada, their fantasy became a reality and they were signed to Enfer Records in 2015.
Opening with a powerful urgency ‘Hey Heartbreaker’ portrayed the immense stage presence of the group, poignantly that of lead singer Rakel Mjöll. Any thoughts of them being merely regarded as just another support act could be dispelled from the first five minutes of their striking set: they owned the stage.
Rakel’s distinct voice fluctuated from high-pitched to a deeper tone on the second track of the set: ‘Lolita’. Emphasising the unintentional quirkiness of their pop-punk approach.
The most noteworthy and meaningful song of their set was perhaps the group’s homage to recent feminist movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp: their track ‘Somebody’. The stylish, almost anarchic charisma of the band confirms that a track like this was made for our current political backdrop. As Rakel repeatedly yelled the lyrics ‘I am not my body, I am somebody’, there seemed to be a clear sentiment of mutual respect among the crowd as she so confidently pursued this feminist message.
The final song F.U.U. was accentuated by the blue and mysterious strobe lighting. Much of the audience, not aware of the band up until that day, were able to join in here, as they sampled one of Britain’s finest girl groups: the Spice Girls’ ‘Wannabe’. The band exited the O2 academy stage fittingly by screaming their final notes, making sure no one forgot about their memorable slot.
The band didn’t say much, but they didn’t need to. It’s common that the support act likes to speak a lot, gaining hype whilst mentioning the headline act’s name. But Dream Wife’s music excited the crowd enough, doing all of the talking.
Images: Ethan Weatherby