MisterWives At O2 Academy Islington

by Emily Pratten

When going into the O2 Academy Islington you notice that it doesn’t look like the sort of place that couldn’t hold a riot, but it tried its best. The road to the small upstairs venue near London’s Angel tube station was paved with MisterWives posters, on walls and lampposts and fences and bus stops, advertising the debut album, Our Own House.

The set was full of energy right from the off. Every member of the band played a vital role and did so with such gusto and effort that the atmosphere was infectious and it did not take long for the crowd to catch it. Misterwives played songs from Our Own House including: Best I Can Do, Oceans, Not Your Way and Reflections which all went down a storm. The emotional significance of the night for the band was completely evident, several members had tears in there eyes on multiple occasions, and the crowd were not blind to this. As the set went on the cheers and screams at the end of every song were louder and longer, the band unable to start the next song due to the incessant applause from the last.

The stage banter was heartfelt and genuine; the love in the room was very clear. Rehearsed dance routines and clapping and stomping sequences took place between songs and left the crowd even more on the band’s side. It was organic and honest and an incredible amount of fun.

Towards the end of the set I became very aware that the song Queens was yet to be played, and I wasn’t the only one. After an incredible cover of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, there was only one song left. As soon as the piano chords for Queens opened the crowd erupted. It was a perfect ender to the set and it’s anthemic status rose to being simply legendary. The lyrics: “We always made it work, building castles out of dirt, my home is a thrown, not very pretty but made of stone” were simply iconic. Everyone was singing along from the heart.  In particular, “Mumma said don’t ever lose sight, stay true to your voice inside” were the lyrics that rang out, emotional and true. The end of the song treated us with an instrumental break as the entire venue sang along to a series of stomps and clamps by the band that punctuated the final verse and chorus. I’ve never heard a louder demand for an encore in my entire life.

The band returned from backstage to perform a cover of Uptown Funk that lead into their song Imagination Infatuation. It was truly electric. It’s very difficult to write a review of such an emotional gig that was full of such fire and love because the feeling created by such atmospheres is ruined when words are ascribed to it. I try very hard not to over-exaggerate when reviewing live music because it’s easy to do, but in this case I cannot stress enough what a truly incredible experience the entire night was. It was like a community that had been assembled and rewarded. We were all taken to church.