– NIGHT & DAY, MANCHESTER –
“I WANNA FUCK YOU UP!” Rakel Mjöll screams at us under piercing stage lights and over crashing cymbals on opener and new single ‘FUU’. A statement rather than an introduction; “we’re here and mean fucking business”. Mjöll is flanked by Alice Go (guitar, vocals) and Bella Podpadec (bass, vocals). Together they make up Dream Wife. The band’s influences are a mixture of what you might expect based on appearances (Grimes, Debbie Harry, Sleater-Kinney) and ones you might not (The Spice Girls). During ‘FUU’, Mjöll proclaims “I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want”, starting like a school girl rhyme then crescendoing into a rioting scream.
The self-proclaimed ‘bad bitches’ (check out their merch) met at College in Brighton and started the band as an art project for a gallery exhibition. Nowadays they find themselves far from exhibits, more close to the grimy club venues of the UK. Having signed to Lucky Number Music last year, tonight sees their second appearance in Manchester (they supported Black Honey in October 2016). They have been welcomed back to the second city with a rousing reception and a near packed out Night & Day. The buzz about this band cannot be denied based on this evidence. The usual middle-aged-bearded-geeks bring up the rear of the crowd, losing their shit every time Mjöll flicks her wavy blonde locks and holds their gaze. She’s confident, and by the end of the set she has met eyes with everyone, but I get the impression it’s more of a “Hello” than “Oh, you’re the one”. Maybe. What is encouraging to see is at the front, by the barriers, are the youth of the night, bouncing and creating their own dances.
There’s a refreshing mix of emotion contained within their performance; from a touch of feminism when Mjöll sings “I am not my body, I am somebody” to the youthful desire of ‘Let’s Make Out’. The latter is a punk stomper which sees Mjöll balancing on the monitors, teasing the audience with her repeated invitation of the song title. Their energy is undeniable: Go doesn’t stop hopping all set, especially during the dancer ‘Lolita’, and Podpadec shouts at her mic like it’s a naughty puppy.
After a somewhat coy speech of thanks and gratitude to DIY Magazine, who organised the tour, a nod to Independent Venue Week and to the crowd “for turning up”, the band crash into ‘Hey Heartbreaker’, the lead track from their ‘EP01’ released last year. A spotless guitar riff combines with hand-clappy girl group cries of “hey hey hey”. Combine this with Mjöll’s Icelandic coos and screams and it’s a fitting end to a performance of grandiose riot grrrl madness.
This article was originally posted on Silent Radio