Birthdays – March 11th

Life’s a riot with Dream Wife. At least, that’s the impression you get after witnessing their ferocious live show.

Dream Wife are Rakel, Alice and Bella. They live in Brighton and formed the band while at University. Originally a performance art project about a fictional girl band (obviously), they became so smitten with the idea that they turned it into a reality. Their influences are wide, ranging from Grimes, David Bowie and ‘David Lynch’s women’, because they’re, “beautiful, powerful, and seriously fucked up”.

While we won’t make any judgements about them being ‘fucked up’, the rest of that description would fit Dream Wife. There’s various elements of riot grrrl, glam rock and punk throw in the mix but it’s their strong DIY ethos and killer pop hooks that really hit the sweet spot.

At the EP launch in Dalston, this feels particularly true when they break into ‘Kids’. Like many of their tracks, it has a commitment to riffs that would make Thin Lizzy nod with approval. It’s coupled with soft, smothering vocals, not too dissimilar to Kim Deal or Debbie Harry, that lift the song into a completely different plane. It’s pop, but not as you know it.

They don’t lack any bite either. They open the set with the punk-meets-glam rock ‘Hey Heartbreaker’ and it’s like a slap to the face. It’s given an extra kick live thanks to their energetic performance. Not one second is spent idly. As the set progresses, shit gets real around ‘F.U.U’. Rakel, originally from Iceland, holds the room to ransom, spitting the phrase, “I’m gonna tough you up, gonna cut you up, gonna fuck you up” over and over again. It builds into this sinister, abrasive crescendo, ending in a cataclysm of noise and aggression. To put it simply, it’s fucking brilliant.

They close with a riotous cover of Peaches’ ‘Fuck The Pain Away’. 10 members of support act Reykjavikurdætur join them on the tiny stage, and they get to work dismantling the set and throwing props into the crowd, including, somewhat bizarrely, a very large fake tree. It’s an anarchic ending to a seriously impressive show that hints at a strong debut album in the making.

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