- by Andy Brown Rating: Release Date: Label:
During tonight’s set singer and guitarist, David Tattersall tells us what a fantastic day he’s having. This morning friend and sometime Wave Pictures percussionist David Beauchamp introduced him to a new (particularly tasty) flavour of toothpaste, he then went on to eat a steak and ale pie and win a game of pool. Now he’s playing for the best audience he’s ever seen at the Brudenell Social Club. A mere glimpse, jokes Jonny ‘Huddersfield’ Helm into the band’s rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle.
Before these decadent, clearly deviant, rock stars can play us their latest batch of tunes we’re introduced to York-based indie-rockers Bull. The idiosyncratic four-piece invoke the spirit of indie-rock royalty while retaining a wild, unpredictable energy all of their own. Opening song ‘Green’ finds them veering into Dinosaur Jr. territory thanks to Dan Lucas’ frazzled and fuzzy lead guitar. Vocalist Tom Beer plays a battered acoustic, helping lend a weather-worn, almost-Meat Puppets vibe to the band’s slacker pop.
By the end of the performance, Beer is down to just three strings and things have gone ever so slightly out of tune. It works brilliantly, the songs and band hanging on by a thread. The vulnerability and sweetness in Beers songwriting is perfectly balanced with a penchant for noise, frenzied detours, and excitable hollers. The noise and chaos never feels antagonistic or particularly angsty though, the ragged/ rough-and-ready performance coming from a place of joy and youthful exuberance. They just really love what they do.
Speaking of joy, there are few bands as genuinely joyful to watch perform as The Wave Pictures. Opening with the indie-pop bounce of ‘Friday Night in Loughborough’, David Tattersall, Jonny Helm, and Franic Rozycki perform a set full of giddy, life-affirming rock ‘n’ roll. ‘Roosevelt Sykes’, from the band’s latest album Look Inside Your Heart, channels African pop and Paul Simon with a hint of Jonathan Richman.
“I heard you made a journey of ten million miles” sings a beaming Tattersall “on a prison cigarette and a supply teachers smile”. This is blissful, gentle, funny and intelligent music at its finest. Percussionist David Beauchamp brings an extra layer of rhythm to the band’s sound, helping to transport us all to a tropical, idyllic beach somewhere. Or maybe even just Scarborough on a nice day.
‘House by the Beach’ is pure, classic rock ‘n’ roll played with all the fun and enthusiasm you could hope for while ‘Spaghetti’ takes us way out West with its galloping rhythm and gang vocals. The band's performance is, as always, full of life and energy. The songs punctuated by a stream of brilliantly inventive solos from Tattersall. Perhaps a deal was made on a lonely crossroads somewhere because, man, this guy can really play. Again, the emphasis is firmly put on having fun; every member of the band really relishing their time on stage.
The majority of the set focusses on the bands most upbeat music yet that makes the now traditional run through ‘God Bless the Reverend Gary Davis’ all the more magical. Jonny Helm (or the “Sinatra of Huddersfield” as Tattersall calls him) steps out from behind the drum kit for a powerful and passionate performance. Rozycki breaking out a little mandolin as Beauchamp and Tattersall bring their own subtle, delicately played contributions. The sparse arrangement putting the focus on Helm’s incredible voice as he croons, “you did the greatest magic trick I've ever seen/ on the back seat in a waking dream”.
The euphoric ‘Red Cloud Road (Part 2)’ even offers us a little philosophy as Tattersall swoons, “we don’t live in the moment/ we live a little ahead or a little behind”. It’s around this time that two people start to dance around on the edges of the crowd. Like all good music The Wave Pictures have managed that trick of making us forget about our worries and cares for a while and just enjoy the moment. They’ve done the impossible and raised a smile on a Monday night.