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Wednesday 1st
posted by Morning Star in Arts

Dream Wife
Scala, London

“I’VE got a bloody lip and love in my heart!”

That’s the call from Rakel Mjoll, lead singer of Dream Wife, who’s just clambered back onstage after surfing the crowd as a quick-fire and explosive set at London’s Scala draws to a close.

With the venue decked out in a prom-style theme to celebrate the announcement of their eponymous debut album, due in January, tonight is the culmination of a two-week tour that has seen Dream Wife take their punk rock with a pop edge out across the country.

From set-opener Hey Heartbreaker, which gets the crowd jumping, to signature tune Fire — which lights up the room — the three-piece, augmented by a drummer live, pack a punch and more.

But it’s not just about the music, which blends pop-style chants with punk-style riffs. There’s a message too, most effectively encapsulated midway through the night when Mjoll (pictured) asks the men in the audience to move back and says it’s time for the women to surge forward to the stage. And they do.

“Everyone has the right to feel safe and everyone has the right to have a good time,” opines Mjoll, before the band launch into stand-out track Somebody.

Its signature refrain: “I am not my body, I am somebody” is a classic, almost throwaway line that packs power in its not-so-hidden message. It’s one that is taken to heart — the audience dance not just wilder, but freer, and the band feeds on the frenzy.

The remaining songs follow a similar formula, a catchy chorus or repetitive — in a good sense — catchphrase or lyric, all backed by Alice Go’s tight guitar and Bella Podpadec’s bass.

And while Mjoll steals the show and draws the attention, including with a cheeky Spice Girls sample during FUU, at the end of the night a stage invasion/mass singalong puts the whole project into perspective.

It’s about everybody coming together, strong, safe and empowered, to have a good time.

And that’s exactly what the band and audience did.

Mik Sabiers