Winter Wonderland review
We sent Eileen and Mary - two of our new Student Ambassadors - along to the Xfm Winter Wonderland gig in London last Wednesday to check it out. The gig in London and Manchester raised a minimum of £10,000 towards our work.
From the first set by We Are Augustines, hailing from my adopted hometown of New York, I knew it was going to be a good night at XFM Winter Wonderland supporting War Child. As a new student ambassador for War Child in a new city, I was excited not only to explore another music venue in London and to hear some amazing music, but to be doing it all for War Child. Perhaps the best moment of the night was when the entire audience was asked to raise their mobile phones in the air and text “NAKED” to 70766. Tell an audience to show off their phones and text something as intriguing as “NAKED” and EVERYONE will do it, especially when it benefits War Child.
As a student of international development, it was exciting for me when other people showed interest in what I’m passionate about. From dancing to the songs by The Maccabees and Kaiser Chiefs and swaying along to Ben Howard, the night was the perfect pre-Christmas gig. And the intermittent videos about how the whole event was helping to change the lives of children around the world reminded us all of what giving at Christmas is all about
Drowning the sighs that The Horrors would not be performing, an extended set of the Maccabees shook the audience into life. Halfway through, a raw performance of ‘Lego’ chimed through the Academy, but even that was blown out the water by an electrifying performance of ‘Love you Better’. Fans were then treated to the new single, ‘Pelican’, their first track off ‘Given to the Wild’.
With a tang of 90s Britpop, newcomers Tribes, whose album ‘Baby’ is released in January, performed with the confidence and charisma of a band that has been on the music scene for years. The nostalgic, ‘We Were Children’ is sure to be the Indie hit of 2012.
Picking up Xfm’s inspiration award, James Dean Bradfield, the legendary Manic, was met more than fondly. A solo rendition of ‘Your Love Alone’, enticed the audience to become Nina Persson for the night as they chanted back the responses. But the best was yet to come. Kaiser Chiefs, the night’s headliners, claimed the stage with the thundering, ‘Everyday I Love you Less and Less’. The reverberating rhythm pulsed through the crowd and fuelled the charged atmosphere for the rest of the night.