When you think of a thrilling, energised gig experience, the Nottingham Boat Club does not spring to mind. This being said, this intimate, wholesome venue can guarantee a full, engaged audience of 6 Music listeners thus perfect for the talents that are The Wave Pictures. The club’s stage resembled an American proms’, juxtaposed with an audience who could be attending their 30 year high school reunion.
Photo by Sadie Agg
As the support act- Alex and the Christopher Hale Band- entered the stage, sporting sensible knitwear and practical shoe-wear, one could not predict the hearty repertoire we were about to witness. The six-piece had a comfortably awkward stage presence and made their perfectly ordinary aesthetic seem rather cool. The band’s sound showed many resemblances to The Wave Pictures themselves, however had an interesting 70s punk screech to it. Though the band was not short of passion, an improvised assortment of solos initiated by the lead vocalist was slightly discombobulated and an interesting way to draw a vigorous set to a close. We were then left with 20 minutes to grab a well-priced 5% lager and squeeze our way back to the front.
A little after 9:30, David Tattersall, Franic Rozycki, Jonny Helm, and a charming, more talented ‘Bez’ like figure entered the stage; each wearing their signature looks, that being either an oversized shirt resembling a darts player, a matching brown t-shirt and cap, or black-out sunglasses. The band commenced with a couple of newer tracks, including ‘Roosevelt Sykes’, which could only be described as a tribute to the American blues musician accompanied by a jangly, sweet melody and a clear demonstration of Tattersall’s ability to make an intricate guitar solo seem light and airy. In addition to his effortless guitar skills, Tattersall’s vocal was extremely beautiful and bared resemblance to David Byrne, particularly in his smooth transition between octaves.
The set featured many fan favourites like ‘Just Like a Drummer’, ‘Strange Fruit For David’, and a particular highlight being ‘Spaghetti’, a charming number filled with strange, loving metaphors (which is probably how you’d characterise the bands entire repertoire). Drummer, Jonny Helm, then took to the Mic and performed ‘Now You Are Pregnant’; Helm vocally was very similar to Tattersall, the main difference being Helm’s pop-punk way of turning talking into singing.
Photo by Sadie Agg
The Wave Pictures encore began shortly after their exit; by this point the band seemed incredibly moved by the mass of energy still present in the room. The trio-turned-foursome performed just a couple of songs before leaving the stage again, leaving one at a time, which was possibly a nod to the outro of Morrissey’s fantastic 2004 performance of ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’. The audience were made to sing “You know when you miss someone” repeatedly as the band left the stage, and to the groups surprise, this chant continued for a few minutes resulting in them returning once more and performing ‘Stay Here And Take Care Of The Chickens’. This fan favourite resulted in a cluster of elderly moshing, pints raised to the musicians, and a huge round of applause for the exuberant, virtuosity we all got the pleasure of experiencing.