Review and Photography by Marianne Brits-Strodl

Teenagers packed out The Garage in London on a Wednesday night in anticipation of seeing Manchester, indie-pop band, Pale Waves. Formed back in 2014, it’s been an exciting ride for the four-piece and they’re currently making ripples on the indie scene. In January 2018 Pale Waves were 5th on the annual ‘BBC Sound of 2018’ and recently, in February 2018, the band won the ‘NME Under the Radar’ award at the NME Awards 2018. The band was founded by the lead singer and guitarist, Heather Baron-Gracie and drummer Ciara Doran.

Pale Waves live at The Garage, London, 7 March 2018

The evening was opened by Bloxx, a grungy, indie female fronted four-piece from Uxbridge. The second opening act was Brighton’s Our Girl, consisting of vocalist Soph Nathan, drummer Lauren Wilson and bassist, Josh Tyler. Soph’s vocals reminded me of Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries and they warmed the crowd up.

Our Girl live at The Garage, London, 7 March 2018

At 9:30 the lights dimmed to black, the music stopped and the fans began to cheer. Heather Baron-Gracie came on first, joined by drummer Ciara and by guitarist Hugo Silvani and bassist Charlie Wood.

The band has an interesting look, front-woman and drummer sporting dark lipstick, pale make-up and fishnets. The two women are the band’s poster children. Don’t, however, be misled by their ‘gothic’ look, this band is very far from alternative. It’s a clever gimmick to get your (and my) attention. Their catchy and infectious sound is indie-pop at its purest.

Pale Waves live at The Garage, London, 7 March 2018

Pale Waves live at The Garage, London, 7 March 2018

Pale Waves are mentored by The 1975, who also produced two or their earlier singles, ‘There’s a Honey’ and ‘Television Romance’ and are signed to the same record label, Dirty Hit. The 1975’s influence is evident in their sound.

From the first indie-anthem and guitar-and-drum-heavy, ‘Television Romance’, the crowd sang along to every word, dancing with arms swinging in the air. With her head tilts, eye-roll and snapping wrists, vocalist, Heather Baron-Gracie stole the show and captivated the audience’s attention. The rest of the band, immersed in heavy stage smoke and purple lighting, played with enthusiasm and didn’t miss a beat.

Pale Waves live at The Garage, London, 7 March 2018

Pale Waves live at The Garage, London, 7 March 2018

The full set consisted of nine songs. Fan favourites were ’Television Romance’, ‘There’s a Honey’ and ‘My Obsession’. ‘You Don’t Love Us Anymore’ is grungier/punk with guitar riffs. Most catchy was ‘The Tide’ and ‘New Year’s Eve’. The final song and current single ‘There’s A Honey’, closed the set.

I might have been twice the age of most attending and somewhat disappointed that they weren’t rather inspired by Siouxsie Sioux and The Cure as the look suggests, it was a fun and eye-opening night.

Pale Waves live at The Garage, London, 7 March 2018

Pale Waves live at The Garage, London, 7 March 2018

Setlist: Television Romance / Kiss / The Tide / My Obsession / She / Heavenly / Eighteen / New Year’s Eve / There’s a Honey

Pale Waves live at The Garage, London, 7 March 2018

One Response to “Pale Waves + Our Girl + Bloxx at The Garage, London, UK – 7th March 2018”

  1. Stuart Glossop Says:

    One of their favourite bands are The Cure: Did one of their first ever interviews in February 2017 and obviously, their musical influences came up. Moreover, their knowledge of The Cure was surprisingly detailed

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