Whoa, the Wombats got really popular. Too popular to be at the Annex, where they played to a 3/4 filled room back in August. I’d venture to say the crowd was mostly Brits, mostly drunk out of their St. Patrick’s Day minds, and mostly knew all the words to every song. It’s pretty easy to do so with the shout-along choruses of UK hits like "Kill the Director," "Let’s Dance to Joy Division" and "Lost in the Post."
Ducking out of the Mercury Lounge for a "smoke break" after El Guincho’s set, I scrambled over to the Annex to find it packed to the gills, to the point where you literally had to fight your way through the crowd. Fun show, especially with this ready-for-it audience, but I think maybe the songs are wearing on me after hearing most of them for the last two years. It was so hot in there I couldn’t take it anymore and left after six songs, heading back to Mercury for Cut Copy, and the only way people would let me past them was to shout "I need to get past to leave the club!"
The Wombats seemed to be everywhere at SXSW, playing to similarly psyched audiences and word on the street is they just signed to Roadrunner, who will hopefully be putting out their official debut on these shores as soon as possible. There’s no doubt in my mind these guys could fill Bowery next time… or maybe somewhere bigger.