Bad Bitches to the front! – Dream Wife rock a sweltering Leeds Brudenell Social Club on their Social Lubrication Tour
Words – Ruth Shay, Photos – John Hayhurst (@snapagig)
“I spy with my little eye…Bad Bitches” is the call from Rakel Mjöll lead singer from Dream Wife, Brighton formed Punk Pop and fiercely anti-gender band. “Gender is a construct” and “Being a Bad Bitch has nothing to do with gender” coming in to this having just seen our current Prime Minister giving his “A Man is a Man and a Woman is a Woman” speech, I feel that this much younger generation at The Brudenell have a thing or two to say about Mr Sunak, and I’d rather they were in charge of all this than him right now.
Dream Wife have created the perfect build up routine for festivals and they now incorporate all that into their own headline club shows. From the staged opening where bass player Bella Podpadec and guitarist Alice Go kneel by the drumkit poised for an hour of pop punk and colourful energy, singer Rakel Mjöll’s gets a slightly later entrance as the band open with a new song and title track from their 3rd album ‘Social Lubrication’, then they play their old regular gig starting track ‘Hey Heartbreaker’. Then there is a mild shock, usual early fan favourite – ‘Hasta La Vista’ has been dropped !!
‘So when you gonna’ is sublime as always and a prime crowd pleaser, it is getting warm in here. The ferocity of Mjöll’s scream makes your teeth rattle, and she will frequently jump to the front to emphasise the point with those daring to get close to her.
“Alice is getting Hot” Mjöll states, and as we expect this is the lead up to a new song they debuted on the last tour, however we weren’t quite expecting Alice to strip off at this point, leaving some strategically placed gaffer tape covering her modesty. Hot (Don’t Date a Musician) becomes the new favourite.
After ‘Orbit’ Rakel then has the whole front ten rows chanting “I am not my body, I am somebody” it’s an impressive sight to see. Then we have the classic divide your audience down the middle for a contest between player 1 (Alice Go) and player 2 (Bella Podpadec). Sports is a triumph of crowd participation as both players tease with a fake guitar battle, everyone is a winner of course in true equality and pantomime style.
More big tracks are dropped – ‘Fire’ being my favourite but there are plenty of new songs to take their place ‘Leech’ in particular has a chorus of “The Leech is out for Blood” and when Rakel is screaming that it’s truly blood curdling. The next highlight is an extended F.U.U. This enables Alice to show her guitar skills and Bella her yoga positions and high kicks, I swear at one point she was fully bent double.
All in all, tonight was a celebration of this band showing that they have what it takes to sell out some of the best grassroots venues in the country, the tour continues into Europe and I expect them to be at most festivals next year – Dream Wife for Life.
Dream Wife Setlist:
Social Lubrication, Hey Heartbreaker, Love You More, So When You Gonna, Hot (Don’t Date a Musician), Orbit, Somebody, I Want You, Sports, Leech, Curious, Who Do You Wanna Be, All The Things She Said, F.U.U.