Review: Pale Waves – Elmwood Hall, Belfast
It’s been a mad sort of year for the guys in Pale Waves. After being signed by Dirty Hit, and being label-mates with none other than The 1975, the band has done everything to get their name out there.
The Manchester quartet have already released an impressive 11 singles, something other artists achieve years into their careers. They released an EP, titled ‘All The Things I Never Said,‘ earlier in the year, before their full-length album ‘My Mind Makes Noises‘ last month. The album hit the top #10 in the UK, impressive for a band that may be lesser known than their label-mates, and in their debut days of their career (hopefully!). With an NME award under their belt, the foursome graced the stage of Belfast’s Elmwood Hall last night.
This isn’t the band’s first time in Belfast, after supporting The 1975 in Ormeau Park at last year’s Belsonic. But now they’re headlining their own tour, which will take them across to the US and around Europe.
Elmwood Hall serves as the best place for the band to perform their first headline concert in the city. Apart from the name being spooky, fitting to the ’emo-style’ of the band, and lead singer Heather in particular, it’s quite an old building with culture and art melting into the architecture, despite it primarily being used as an exam hall. You heard it as well, with many of the audience laughing before the show stating they did their Economics final in here months before, and now they’re seeing Pale Waves!
After the lights went down and a long intro of flashing lights and screams, the band came on stage to ‘Televsion Romance,’ one of their first singles from last year. It’s adamant from the get-go that Heather sings from her soul, and has poured her life and heart into the yodeled lyrics, depicting a breakdown of a relationship that isn’t as pure and beautiful like what you see in the movies. ‘Oh, baby, won’t you stop it. You and I haven’t got it, got it. Television Romance.’
The sell-out show is filled with students brandishing The 1975 t-shirts and bouncing along, genuinely interested in the band for their quirky waves.
‘Kiss‘ and ‘Eighteen,’ another two singles from the last few months followed, with the latter preceded by Heather laughing: ‘This song is about being 18 and in love.’
Their fourth song was a personal favourite and highlight, ‘New Year’s Eve.’ It shows a vulnerable side to Heather, who begs her partner to not leave her alone on a night that is traditionally for couples wanting to start the year off with a kiss. ‘I don’t want to be alone on New Year’s Eve, do you even wanna be with me?’
Colours ‘Red‘ and ‘Black‘ were next on the set list, the latter being a recent single and Heather addressed the audience with: ‘This one’s for the moshers.’ Lyrics on the chorus included: ‘You don’t love us anymore, but I do, I do. You don’t think we’re worth it, but I do, I do,‘ as she begs her lover not to leave her. The stage lights alternated between red and white for the songs.
More highlights came in the forms of ‘Came In Close‘ as she sings about the uncertainty of her lover’s feelings, and ‘The Tide,’ which she confessed was the first song they wrote as a band. I’m sure if other bands showcased the first songs they’d written together they would be nowhere near as good.
Latest single ‘One More Time‘ and album titled ‘Noises‘ preceded the encore, as they bounced back on stage to ‘My Obsession‘ and closing the show with their debut ‘There’s A Honey.’
I was pleasantly surprised throughout, as they performed the majority of their songs, not having to rely on covers. If I’m honest, I was looking forward to hearing ‘Karl (I Wonder What It’s Like To Die)‘ the final track on their album, but it’s probably too sad to perform live as they sing about grief in the family.
I can’t even use the expression ‘they bowed out‘ to the last two songs either, because they physically didn’t. In fact, there wasn’t an awful lot of crowd participation at all, but I’m guessing that it’s to fit with the ‘style’ of their music and image.
Pale Waves will be joining The 1975 on their tour next year, including a night at Belfast’s SSE Arena. For more information, click here.