Liverpudlian Matthew Murphy, best known for his lead vocals in three-piece The Wombats, brings his new solo venture Love Fame Tragedy to London’s Heaven for a packed out show full of new music.
The crowd are raring to go after two wonderful warm ups from Halifax-based 5-piece Full Colour and a very energetic performance from Oscar Lang and his ‘wang gang’ as he called his fellow band members.
The band are greeted by screams after a short wait. No introduction from Murph just straight into the first song Backflip, the second track from the debut EP I Don’t Want To Play The Victim, But I’m Really Good At It. Murph is joined on stage by Hailey, Stef and Boaz playing bass, drums and keys respectively.
Next up are two familiar songs Hardcore and Riding A Wave, the former being Murph’s last release of 2019 and the latter his first release of 2020. The crowd are showing their appreciation and proving how much support the new project has gained in less than a year. Love Fame Tragedy now have over a quarter of a million monthly listeners on Spotify, pushing Murph’s solo career into the limelight.
Following the first three well known songs, we are treated to new bop, 5150. Murph explains that the new song’s title is the code the police use in America for someone breaking out of a mental institute with the song exploring similar feelings and emotions. “I love you Hailey” is shouted from the audience, a comment Murph is all too happy to reiterate to his bassist. “The atmosphere just so good in here tonight Heaven” he offers.
Multiply follows, a somewhat familiar tune which has been teased to be realised soon by Murph on Twitter. The recorded version will feature Jack River and will for sure be one of Love Fame Tragedy’s biggest hits. We first heard this version of the song at Reading and Leeds festivals last summer. Brand New Brain follows before even more new songs. A new EP is teased to come out in the next few weeks as well as a big album coming in the summer. The three new songs are titled Sharks, B-Team and Everything Affects Me Now, each follow Murph’s current writing style with metaphorical lyrics and big riffs. You will not be disappointed by the new music.
We are then spoiled by two fan favourites. “This one is a song about my wife” Murph offers by way of introduction to Body Parts, a slow-groove tune but with a heavy drum beat underlying the whole song, it’s big chorus really selling this song. The crowd receive it very well “fuck me Heaven that was a vibe!” the front man exclaims. “This next one is a song about those small white round things that sometimes make you see some strange things” he offers, eliciting chuckles from the crowd introducing Pills. “This will be our last song for the night” he says, with air quotes giving the crowd even more energy knowing more is to come.
A questionable heckle from the crowd greets the band as they return to the stage. “I’ve never been asked to perform that by anyone at a gig before” the front man retorts. The final two songs are kicked off with Please Don’t Murder Me before the group dive into their biggest lyrical beat My Cheating Heart.
And that’s the night over, but not before Murph thanks the crowd one final time for all their support and for coming out, next in line on their tour is Bristol. Love Fame Tragedy finally part the stage leaving behind, for now, a growing fan base of all ages. It’s incredible to see how fast Murph has managed to grow the project. The Wombats are still going strong with Tord and Dan starting a project of their own entitled Sunship Balloon. Lots to come from these three very talented musicians in the future I’m sure.
Live review & photography of Love Fame Tragedy at Heaven on 3rd March 2020 by Ciaran Frederick.