Review – Pale Waves,Our Girl and Bloxx live at The Garage, London, 07 March 2018

Teenagers packed out The Garage in London on a Wednesdaynight in anticipation of seeing Manchester, indie-pop band, Pale Waves. Formedback in 2014, it’s been an exciting ride for the four-piece and they’recurrently making ripples in the indie scene. In January 2018 Pale Waves were5th on the annual ‘BBC Sound of 2018’ and recently, in February 2018, the bandwon the “NME Under the Radar” award at the NME Awards 2018. The band wasfounded by the lead singer and guitarist, Heather Baron-Gracie and drummer CiaraDoran.

The evening was opened by Bloxx, a grungy, indie femalefronted four-piece from Uxbridge. The second opening act was Brighton’s ‘OurGirl’, consisting of vocalist Soph Nathan, drummer Lauren Wilson and bassist,Josh Tyler. Soph’s vocals reminded me of Dolores O'Riordan of The Cranberriesand they warmed the crowd up.

At 9h30 the lights dimmed to black, the music stopped andthe fans began to cheer. Heather Baron-Gracie came on first, joined by drummerCiara and by guitarist Hugo Silvani and bassist Charlie Wood.

The band has an interesting look, front-woman and drummersporting dark lipstick, pale make-up and fishnets. The two women are the band’sposter children.  Don’t, however, bemisled by their ‘gothic’ look, this band is very far from alternative. It’s aclever gimmick to get your (and my) attention. Their catchy and infectioussound is indie-pop at its purest.

Pale Waves are mentored by ‘The 1975’, who also produced twoor their earlier singles, ‘There’s a Honey’ and ‘Television Romance’ and issigned to the same record label, Dirty Hit. The 1975 influence is evident intheir sound.

From the first indie-anthem and guitar-and-drum-heavy,‘Television Romance’, the crowd sang along to every word, dancing with armsswinging in the air. With her head tilts, eye-roll and snapping wrists,vocalist, Heather Baron-Gracie stole the show and captivated the audience’sattention.  The rest of the band,immersed in heavy stage smoke and purple lighting, played with enthusiasm anddidn’t miss a beat.

The full set consisted of nine songs. Fan favourites were’Television Romance’, ‘There’s a Honey’ and ‘My Obsession’. ‘You Don’t Love UsAnymore’ is grungier/punk with guitar riffs. Most catchy was ‘The Tide’ and ‘NewYear’s Eve’. The final song and current single ‘There’s A Honey’, closed theset.

I might have been twice the age of most attending andsomewhat disappointed that they weren’t rather inspired by Siouxsie Sioux andThe Cure as the look suggests, it was a fun and eye-opening night.


Television Romance / Kiss / The Tide / My Obsession / She /Heavenly / Eighteen / New Year's Eve /

There's a Honey

All Images ©Marianne Brits-Strodl
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