Review: Pale Waves @ Boiler Shop Newcastle – 22/09/18

Written by on 23rd September 2018

By Dave Shaw

Not many people can say they had the privilege of seeing Pale Waves play a sold out show at The Boiler Shop in Newcastle, a venue that is notoriously intimate for a band who are making waves (pun intended) across the airwaves (two in one sentence? ok) right now. They have been gaining nothing but momentum recently with a string of singles being released and their debut album ‘My Mind Makes Noises’ receiving positive reviews across the board.

A band which has the marketing power of The 1975’s label Dirty Hit pushing the band to the next level, and this is evident at the gig which features an awesome light show and heavy production elements to the music.

King Nunn, who have supported them throughout the tour and Swimming Girls are the support acts, received a chilled out but receptive crowd to begin the night at an already packed venue, and that’s before Pale Waves are even on!

Approaching Pale Waves headlining set, you can feel the anticipation and electricity in the air of the mixed fan base eager for them to come on stage. One particular fan stood out as she resembled the lead singer Heather Baron-Gracie, who you couldn’t be wrong for mistaking her as the real deal amongst a mixture of goth dressed teens.

A droned tone fills the silence of the venue as we begin the prolonged wait for Pale Waves to step on stage. Through the darkened lights they appear to a raucous crowd as they kick-start with their big single ‘Television Romance’. Heather looks at home on stage, feeding off the crowds enthusiasm for the band’s power pop tunes. They proceed with popular singles, ‘Kiss’ and the new release ‘Eighteen,’ which gets everyone singing, even though it’s only been released a few days (!).

You can tell the band pays tribute such as The Cure, merged with a more modern indie pop sound with an 80’s tinge, where they take a lot of their influences from. Pale Waves could possibly benefit from distancing themselves from this specific genre by trying to find their own sound through a broader range of influences, but for now, it’s suiting them fabulously.

After blasting out ‘Heavenly’ and the album track ‘Red,’ the band strip things down with the atmospheric and chilled song ‘She’. You can hear Heather express her vulnerability in this, a song full of themes around failed relationships and her own self-doubt.

The majority of the songs played have the just amount of catchiness in their choruses which the crowd enthusiastically sing and dance along to; the band have this mob of Geordies eating out of the palms of their hands. The rest of the band are clearly skilled musicians and provide an excellent backing to Heather’s soaring voice, which echoes around this intimate venue.

A lot of backing track and production elements were included in the live show, and it would have been good to hear a more raw and live sound for some of the tracks. It is still early days from the release of their debut album ‘My Mind Makes Noises,’ however, and you can’t blame them for wanting to step things up a gear to the next level.

A highlight from the set was the recent single ‘One More Time,’ which sounds strangely familiar to something Avril Lavigne herself would belt out. The song did it’s job though, as the crowd become a lot more animated as we neared the end of the night (typical isn’t it?). The band ended the hour long set with ‘Noises,’ before coming back on stage to the roaring crowd for an encore, where they played ‘My Obsession’ and finishing a spectacular set with ‘There’s a Honey’.

The next time we’ll see Pale Waves will be a break from small venues as they go on to support mentor and fellow label mates, The 1975 on a UK arena Tour in January 2019. DS & G

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