Live Review: WARS + I Cried Wolf - Fat Lil's, Oxfordshire 17/02/2019

Wars and I Cried Wolf brought their crazy and chaotic tour to Witney’s Fat Lils on Sunday night and Sunday might be known as the day of rest but this was a night of chaos.

As you walk into the recently refurbished Fat Lils in Witney, Oxfordshire, you are struck by what makes these smaller local venues so great… the community around them. There was a buzz in the air as people and groups merged to get ready for the first headliner of the night Wars. Off the back of their well received and latest EP ‘As Within /// So Without’ took to the stage in front out of a packed out Witney crowd. The band responded to the crowd by giving this performance everything they could throw at it. ‘In a Mirror, Dimly’ off the new EP got everyone moving, with chatter between songs of people saying how good Wars were and that they couldn’t believe they hadn’t heard of them before.

Lead Vocalist Rob Vicars wasn’t afraid to enter the packed crowd throughout the set, often collapsing to the floor to sing whilst also hugging and singing with them. ‘Scorn and Fidelity’ was incredible to watch live. The raw brutality of heavy guitars mixed with Vicars heavy vocals with the light relief of Sam Barnard’s vocals made for easily the best song of the night and will surely last long in the memory of the Fat Lil’s faithful.

I Cried Wolf took to the stage for the final set of the night backed by bright purple, blue and yellow lights. Although these colours are bright, the performance brought the darkness in the best possible way. I Cried Wolf were full of energy, destructive guitars and enthralling jumps, kicks and crowd participation. This was the first time I had seen the band perform live and I was hooked from the 1st second. When a band comes together and are clearly completely in sync with the crowd and with each other, it’s truly magical to watch.

Frontman Harry Davies spent most of his time amongst the crowd, receiving the last bit of energy they could muster after a night of great music. The band’s latest release ‘BRKN’ was fast paced and truly cataclysmic in a similar vein to that of Sheffield’s While She Sleeps. The verses were heavy and will get anyone headbanging, which was backed up by a chorus showing a great vocal range.

Overall this was a superb night of music in a type of local venue which is sadly less and less common across the country. It’s incredibly important that we support venues like this so bands such as Wars and I Cried Wolf have a chance to show off what they can bring to the table. I implore to go to your local music venue and support the acts, there will be nights were the band or performer might not be so good but you will have nights like this, where the bands are bound for success and the atmosphere is electric.  

Words and photography by Alfie Drake