Friday, 14 December 2007

DisCover - the Wave Pictures

Pretty gushing piece I wrote for Drowned in Sound

Remember when a band used to play and suddenly everything would go soft focus and everything but the players would go dark? Of course not, because even I have only seen that happen in Grease when an angel visits Frenchie in the diner and basically calls her a complete reject (anybody else find that weird?), but I imagine that it used to happen all the time. I imagine there was a certain kind of crooner who could strike one chord on a stage and all the light in the room would go pink, and all the members of the band would be backlit like models in a 1950’s knitwear catalogue. I guess that’s what they call star quality. I’ve never seen it before, but they sure talked about it a lot in Fame Acadamy, and so when I saw this band the Wave Pictures in Birmingham last week, and suddenly the light in the room felt like it was coming out of a super 8 camera, I was able to figure out why it was.

I’ve now seen them play four times. Each time there was a song that I didn’t recognize, or something they’d written new that day, no mean feat when you appear to be playing a different show every single night. And then I spoke to them and I realized they have no idea how good they are. Not a clue. And they don’t know who CSS are, and they’ve never heard the Maccabees, and they live off a diet of Chuck Berry and Jonathan Richman, but occasionally sing the filthiest lyrics you’ve ever heard. Like first there’s a surfs-up guitar solo, and then there’s the line ‘And then you got cystitis, didn’t you?’

I don’t know, maybe I’m like an idiot girl in a poodle skirt swooning over a matinee idol, but I’ve never fallen in love with a band like this before. It’s like discovering the Mountain Goats at their first show, or getting hold of the first Belle and Sebastian tape and getting to tell the weirdo who sold it to you that you like his band. You know the people who get interviewed because they were the first Neutral Milk Hotel fans? Well I get the feeling this article has written me into at least a book or two about the Wave Pictures. But that’s a few years down the line yet. At the meantime they’re on tour with Darren Hayman and about to release a single on Moshi Moshi. A four week residency at the George Tavern starts on Tuesday 13th November and continues on the 20th, 4th & 11th. They also seem to be playing everywhere else, all the time, for the rest of their lives.

Here’s the transcript of the interview I did. The singer David did most of the talking, cause the other two got really shy. We had to force them even to nod their heads- how dreamy is that?

[Transcript at]

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