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Pale Waves shine – Cambridge gig reviewed


The Storey’s Field Centre, Cambridge is open for business and Pale Waves along with other budding bands are christening the stage tonight. Bloxx is first to perform, followed by Our Girl; their lead singer Sophie Nathan might look familiar to you if you’re a fan of The Big Moon.

Centre manager Richard Brown says it was a last minute scramble to get function room looking the way it does. Afterwards, the staff commented that in hindsight, the stage should have been raised higher to allow more people to see.

Pale Waves start with Television Romance which – being their biggest tune to date – doesn’t sound as vocally challenging as their great take on The Tide. Disappointingly, lead singer Baron-Gracie’s voice was a bit muffled with New Year’s Eve but they surprised the crowd with some lesser knowns like Kiss which sounded similar to The Psychedelic Furs’ Pretty in Pink.

The two wing men Wood and Sylvani have important roles to play in the musical sense with their fast-paced guitar playing, however you tend to pale into insignificance when you don’t look the part. Their ‘every day’ style just can’t match up to Baron-Gracie’s emo-china-doll look, along with drummer Doran’s messy bob and black attire. It is clear only the women share the focal point.

Their music is considered a mixture of Goth Pop, 80’s pop and Indie Pop so it makes you wonder what their genre of music is exactly. Are they taking us back to the 80’s to revisit their inspirational artists such as The Cure and Prince or are they striving to show us a brand new niche? It may be too early to tell they only have a handful of songs to their name and are yet to become more established.
But they have help to do this. It is no secret Pale Waves have a close connection to Manchester band The 1975 and it’s not just to do with the shared label. Apparently, lead singer Matthew ‘Matty’ Healy liked their music so much, he immediately wanted to work with them. From there, it was no surprise when both bands toured together in 2017. You can see the heavy influence they have on Pale Waves’ performance when they amalgamate introductory music to their set. And there’s no overlooking the way the lead singer walks around the stage with her arms stretched wide as if she’s beckoning the audience to embrace her. Baron –Gracie is another Matty Healy in the making.

Words from Catherine Verrechia
Images from Matt Thorpe

Pale Wave set list
Television Romance
The Tide
My obsession
New Year’s Eve
There’s a Honey