People keep mentioning The Wave Pictures to us. First we caught them supporting Architecture in Helsinki back in September, and tomorrow they play the final of 4 Tuesday night sessions at the George Tavern, Whitechapel. It's an amazing venue but not to everyone's tastes. Candlelight, cheap beer and a relaxed atmosphere, slightly reminiscent of an old village pub but with a mixed and lively bohemian crowd. The paint is peeling and you can't help but think the candles might not be there just for atmosphere, but that's part of its charm. Reminds us a bit of the Foundry by Old Street. There's posters for Justice for Mark Bianco. The most graffiti filled toilet in the world. Cheap beer and free entry during the week. The Wave Pictures have been around a few years now but hype seems to be really growing around them at the moment. Signed to Moshi Moshi, they regularly tour with Darren Hayman, and according to some of our friends are successors to the Hefner sound.
Last week's show was supported by Hugh J Noble, like a cross between Billy Bragg on downers and a bad trip but entertaining all the same. Introspective songs about random people with deep but flippant lyrics (your depression is not clinically derived/it's merely just a product of your mind). By the end of his set he'd been joined by the rhythm section of the Wave Pictures in hastily rehearsed but reasonable sounding versions of his songs
Next was Jim, a drunken man from the bar, who decided to regale us with some of his poetry, shortly followed by Dave from Wave Pictures regaining the mic and declaring "I have no idea what just happened, but I know what is about to happen" as he introduced Darren Hayman. He chose to do a solo set from behind a big old Wurlitzer electric piano, telling lyrical stories, with occasional accompaniment from various band members.
The Wave Pictures themselves were up next, Dave broke a string during the first number and left the audience with the choice of a) use a different guitar, b) use a ukulele or c) restring his guitar. The audience voted with a resounding B and Dave played the next song, including the overdrive laden guitar solo on the ukulele. Darren popped back up on the EP to accompany them for their final numbers, still delightfully irreverent and quite bizarre lyrically (I was born in a blonde house?) still tight, less folky sounding than their myspace would have you believe, and as we could tell by the packed pub, much loved by the audience.
Their final residency is tomorrow night (Tuesday) at the George, 373 Commercial Road. We suggest you check them out!
Words by Scott Van Looy