Where did Wolf Alice get their name from?

11 February 2023, 12:00

Wolf Alice in 2021
Wolf Alice in 2021. Picture: Jordan Hemingway/Press

Ten years into the band's stellar career, Radio X delves into the inspiration behind their mysterious moniker.

Radio X

By Radio X

On 11th February 2013, a single called Fluffy was released by the indie label Chess Club. Issued as a lovely white vinyl 7", with the track White Leather on the b-side, it was the very first release from the band Wolf Alice.

The band formed in 2010 around singer Ellie Rowsell and guitarist Joff Oddie, who performed acoustic songs as a duo. They later took on Joel Amey to play drums and Theo Ellis as bassist.

Fluffy was later reworked for Wolf Alice's debut album My Love Is Cool, which was released two years later. By 2021, the quartet had released their third LP, Blue Weekend, which topped the UK charts and saw Wolf Alice win a BRIT Award for Best Group.

Wolf Alice - "Fluffy" (Official Video)

But where did the name Wolf Alice come from? It was the name of their very first EP, released in 2010 - but it wasn’t just a random selection of words.

A story called Wolf-Alice first appeared in 1979 as part of a collection of dark fairy tales by British writer Angela Carter, called The Bloody Chamber.

"Wolf-Alice" is a variation on the old Little Red Riding Hood, about a feral child who is raised by wolves: "Nothing about her is human except that she is not a wolf”.

The Bloody Chamber
The Bloody Chamber. Picture: Waterstones

Eventually the child is sent to live with a character called The Duke, who is essentially a vampire. Alice comes of age and starts to menstruate, leading her to become more aware of the passage of time and her life as a human woman. When The Duke is mortally attacked by the local peasants, she comforts him and gradually his reflection appears in a nearby mirror, indicating his return from the undead existence he has been suffering.

A scene from Neil Jordan's The Company Of Wolves (1984)
A scene from Neil Jordan's The Company Of Wolves (1984). Picture: Photo 12 / Alamy Stock Photo

Also included in the same book was a similarly gothic story called The Company Of Wolves, which was turned into a startling film in 1984 by director Neil Jordan, and starring Angela Lansbury. Here’s the scary trailer!

The Company of Wolves (1984) - Trailer HD 1080p

Ironically, the character of “Wolfgirl” was played by Danielle Dax, who also had a successful career as a musician in the 1980s! Maybe Wolf Alice could cover Cathouse and complete the circle?

Danielle Dax - Cathouse

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