Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Wave Pictures

Today I’m pleased to be writing about a band that have recently crept up on me almost unawares and surprised me with their rough-edged charms. I first read about The Wave Pictures on Song by Toad, who also spoke highly about them to me at End of the Road Festival in September. Then over the last week or so, I seem to be increasingly aware of the band through various web articles, culminating in a friend asking if I wanted to go to see them at the George Tavern last night. I couldn’t go of course, but I started today with a resolve to check them out properly.

It turns out that The Wave Pictures are one of these bands who happily make it really easy for you to ‘discover’ them properly. For a start, their website is choc-full of free mp3s to download, so I’ve spend most of my working day listening through them all. I like what I hear.

To back-track a bit, The Wave Pictures are David Tattersall, Franic Rozycki and Jonny 'Huddersfield' Helm. Although they’re just coming to my (and other people’s) attention, they’ve actually been a band of sorts for nine years. In that time they’ve changed the line-up slightly (Helm is a newer recruit), changed their name (The Wave Pictures is surely a better name than Blind Summit), and lived in different cities for a while when they were at university. But now they’re all happily back together since last year and living in a flat together in good ol’ East London. Now they’re masterminding their plans for world domination.

As well as playing their own gigs, which seem to be increasing at an exponential rate lately, they’ve also got a history of playing with other people – their musical mates basically – and they’ve backed up John ‘Mountain Goats’ Darnielle and the mighty Darren Hayman as well as playing with Jeff and Jack Lewis and Herman Dune. I guess that gives you a better idea of where they’re at musically than any half-baked comparison that I can come up with.

Also, as you might expect for a band that’s been around for so long, they’ve recorded a few albums, although only one of these has had an ‘official’ release – the album Sophie, which came out last year on Smoking Gun records. The rest are all self-produced and released affairs on CDRs, but they are all available to buy through their website.

They like their cover versions too. As well as a decent attempt at covering Sam Cooke’s A Change is Gonna Come, there are whole sets of covers – an album of songs by Andre Herman Dune, and an EP each of songs by Wave Pictures friends Lisa Li Lund and Laurel Aitken. It’s all good stuff. In all their songs, they make up what they lack in technical ability and slickness with spades of heart, soul and good quality tunes. It all hangs together rather well. You’d be pretty churlish if there’s not a place for The Wave Pictures in your life.

Download: The Wave Pictures – January and December
Download: The Wave Pictures – Safe at the Party
Download: The Wave Pictures – He Swims Like a Fish (with John Darnielle)

Buy Wave Pictures stuff from their website. Their new single We Dress Up Like Snowmen / Now You Are Pregnant is out on 7 inch on 26 October. Should be Xmas number one, really.

If you want to see the boys live and you live in London, you’re in luck – they’ve still got two dates to go of their 4-week residency and The George Tavern in Whitechapel. There’s also the other shows in far-flung places like Sheffield and Cambridge (all dates on the myspace). I’ve heard good reports already.

Finally, Emmy the Great likes The Wave Pictures too. Read what she has to say about them, and what they have to say about themselved at Drowned in Sound.


Transparent Magazine said...

the john darnielle featured track is amazing!

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