Wooden Shjips - The Scala, London
To describe Wolf People as funky, psychedelic folk blues rock may make them seem a real hash of messed-up styles, but their spaced out jams flow by with an easiness that perfectly evokes the late 60s hippy culture they are trying to channel. Planted squarely between Led Zeppelin and early Pink Floyd, the packed Scala is swept away on a tide of tree-hugging goodwill mixed in with some glorious hard-rocking riffs; vocal harmonies emerge from the crunchy blues as dancing basslines swirl in a haze of dreamy musical musings - and leaving everyone rather happy.
The kosmische assault of Wooden Shjips is just one big aural love letter to the Krautrock scene of 1970s Germany, in particular personal favourites NEU!, a miasma of pounding motorik rhythms, spacey Moog synths and echo-drenched guitars – and bloody good it is too! The drums and bass all night long are deliriously hypnotic, tugging at the audience as they orbit somewhere in the outer reaches of the solar system. Meanwhile, the synths and guitars launch us upon a heady trip around the cosmos, the reverberating lines bouncing around with maniacal brilliance.
Here to promote third album West, the set leans heavily on the new opus as the likes of 'Home' and thumping opener 'Black Smoke Rise' show that whilst Wooden Shjips haven't necessarily progressed too much over time, they have honed and refined their psychedelic madness into a masterful display of driving power and mind-bending spiritualism. The encore brings this warped journey to a triumphant close, and the cold streets of north London appear just a little duller on the way home.