A moment that comes to mind from all my experiences with Wrapped In Plastic involved peanut butter. It was Foundations Festival in Manchester, 2016, and they were just closing their set with a cover of Sex Pistol’s “God Save The Queen.” During a bit of audience interaction, frontman Mr. Hate joined the crowd, inviting them to sing in the mic alongside him, which I naturally took part in at one point as he wrapped his arm round me. However, he was mostly de-robed (a typical occurrence at a WIP gig), and had lathered himself in peanut butter earlier on. Upon making this realisation I checked my shirt, and to my horror discovered that I was covered in the stuff. In a panic I hurried to the men’s room to wash off what I could. It only made things worse. And that’s the story of how I got my first Wrapped In Plastic t-shirt! Was it an accident or a clever marketing ploy? Who knows, they were a pretty wild duo!
Alas, I already find myself talking about them in the past tense, because as of now the band is no more. A few months ago, the unexpected announcement was made; that they had decided to call it a day, with their final show to be at the end of June. Being a fan and long-time friend of the band, I made every effort to see them, so I was there to witness and partake in the carnage for one last time.
Before their set, there were a duo of great support acts, the first being in the form of St Lucifer. Having seen them only a mere couple of weeks prior, at AnalogueTrash’s 10th birthday celebrations, I already knew that they were in top-form. Yet again they indeed were, continuing the momentum that they had previously. The set was a very different one this time round too, not only being comprised of their hits, but other songs from their collection. This made it more unpredictable, adding some nice surprises. They had a great energy and presence, as frontman David Fox constantly joked about playing ‘nice pop songs’ before the band broke out into sleazy, dark riffs and beats. It was definitely the right note to start on to get people in the mood for the rest of the night.
Next up, were Dead Happy… or at least part of it. Guitarist Christopher Reave was unable to attend, so it was all up to Professor Partorius to take on all the duties by himself. He pretty much nailed it too! It felt like a strange hybrid of a live show and a DJ set, but was just as enticing as usual. It was a wacky ride, and his zany persona really shone through. It was enough to get the audience bouncing to the music. There was even a quick cover of “Space Pants”, made famous from Peter Dinklage and Gwen Stefani’s SNL sketch. Sadly, I’m not sure many people got the joke. Still, it was a set filled with humour, and was genuinely fun to experience.
The band truly channelled violent energy, the atmosphere was powerful from start to finish.
Then, for the very last time, Wrapped In Plastic took to the stage. An eerie ambience filled the room, the stage clad with mannequins and creepy dolls. What then ensued was an intense victory lap that spanned their entire career. To call it visceral would be an understatement, because the duo really went for it, and you could tell that they genuinely wanted this to be a memorable performance. I can honestly say that it was, and probably one of their best too! Mr. Hate’s vocal delivery, presence and demeanour were on point, and Squeaky’s guitar work was awe-inspiring. One moment of the set involved her shredding out some monstrous riffs. The crowd were totally up for it, taking in each moment, with the biggest turn-out I think I’ve ever seen at The Flapper, the room was packed-out! There were genuine moments of frenzy, one involving a mosh-pit, as well as some destruction. In the latter, Mr. Hate passed a baseball bat to an audience member, who then laid into a piñata. This escalated quickly, as the mannequins were next, getting completely destroyed. Things were as theatrical as ever on stage, and the crowd involvement was excellent. The band truly channelled violent energy, the atmosphere was powerful from start to finish. Then for the final two tracks came “Stomp” and the cover of “God Save The Queen” (without peanut butter this time, thankfully.) It was at this point when the crowd were invited to join the duo on stage, and it was a complete invasion, everyone going absolutely wild. Whilst I’ll always recall the peanut butter story as my funniest WIP moment, I think this one will be my favourite memory of the band. It was a testament to how well received their music was, to their prowess as musicians, the friendships and bonds they made along the way and was the perfect final send-off. If they wanted to go out with a bang, this was certainly the way to do it!
Now we find ourselves in a post-Wrapped In Plastic world, a band that I’ve seen many times over the years, probably being one of the acts I’ve seen the most. It’s strange for it to be over, but all things must end at some point. Besides, they say it’s better to end on a high note than to simply fade away, and I definitely feel they ended on a high. I’m not sure where each of them will go next in terms of musical projects, but whatever they are, I’ll be sure to keep a keen eye out for them.
RIP Wrapped In Plastic, and thanks for everything