Music Critic Charis Gambon praises Dream Wife for their 90’s girl band aesthetic and the positive influence that their lyrics have
On March 24th, I was able to go and watch Dream Wife and their support acts Beorma, and Lucia and The Best Boys on their Birmingham tour stop at Castle and Falcon. I enjoyed the night immensely.
The opening group, Beorma, consists of Tom and Ferns and they were chosen for the gig at Castle and Falcon due to the fact that they are a local group. Their songs are political with inspirations from Jamaican culture; the duo’s music fits into the category of indie pop and R&B. They started out in 2020 during COVID-19. While they are still developing and synergising, their crowd work was solid with their distinct style which when refined will be brilliant.
The second act of the night, Lucia and The Best Boys consists of; Lucia Fairfull ( vocals), Adam Campbell (guitar), Alasdair Scott (drums) and Chris Ballantyne (bass). The band came out with gravitas and the blend of a powerful voice as well as heavy drums and guitars with vibrant energy gives the music an 80’s glam rock or punk rock feel. Their songs feel like ballads which is truly a tribute to their pure talent. Lucia has a lot of stage presence and certainly knows how to use space and movement to her advantage. Alasdair was exceptional on the drums, where the drums pound like a pulse but he was also able to throw in epic solos. Adam’s guitar solo showcased his amazing dexterity and made it seem like he was one with his guitar. Chris also produced great work with his bass guitar. Lucia and the Best Boys played a new song at the concert called ‘When You Dress Up’ which I can certainly see as a song people will talk about and sing in the future. Lucia’s vocal range was demonstrated perfectly during this new song which added to the perfection of the piece. The abilities of Adam, Alasdair and Chris were also shown during the new song and everything fitted incredibly well together which is what makes the song exceptional.
The main act of the night was Dream Wife which consists of; Rakel Mjöll (lead vocals), Alice Go (guitar and vocals) and Bella Podpadec (bass and vocals). Rakel has a unique sounding voice which is well suited to the songs that the band plays. The guitars of Alice and Bella were harmonised well with each other and with the vocals of Rakel. Every aspect fitted incredibly well together. Dream Wife have a unique and distinct sound of a 90’s girl band feel. All members have a great stage presence and they involved the crowd in some of their songs which adds to the overall feel for the audience. They are all had a lot of energy and it is very obvious that they are passionate about what they do. Some of their songs have softer sounds while others are rockier and more intense, and in some songs, there is even a combination of both. There was a lot of high energy movements such as jumping and hair flipping which visually demonstrate that the members of the band are very into what they do.
Rakel thanked the other two bands for sharing the stage with them and stated that Lucia and the Best Boys are “absolute talents and it has been an honour to share the stage with them.’’ He also expressed that they “knew every song and every lyric’’ from Lucia and the Best Boys. It was truly refreshing to see a band expressing gratitude for another band. Rakel also expressed gratitude for being able to play music in person and for the music community.
They played songs that were released in 2020 in the 2022 tour for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I loved the song ‘Temporary’ from the 2020 album So When You Gonna… and I thought that it was very 80’s or 90’s girl band style. Some of their music has a very nostalgic feel to it and it was very clear that Bella was giving it her all on the bass guitar. Additionally, Alice’s ability with the guitar is truly outstanding.
My favourite aspect of Dream Wife is the fact that a large amount of the songs have a positive message which is truly great as young people look towards artists for support and inspiration. One example of this positivity is the lyric “nobody fits in” from ‘Vaidation’ Another positive lyric from another song is “I am not my body I am somebody’’ from ‘Somebody’. Dream Wife also played a song at the gig that was the first time and the piece was incredibly well received. The song was fairly catchy with the repeating line “I feel too sexy to listen to my friends’’ and I can certainly see the song catching on. Another song encouraged people to have “empathy’’ which is such a strong message to share.
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