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Pale Waves / Phoebe Green - Sound Control 18/10/17

October 19, 2017

Having rapidly risen in popularity since signing to Dirty Hit, working with The 1975 and heading out on a US tour with their fellow Manchester label mates, it’s no surprise that Pale Waves sold out their hometown show at Manchester’s Sound Control last night. With fans eagerly queuing hours before doors, it was certainly one of the week’s most anticipated shows.

 

(Photo - Ianthe Warlow)

 

The simply delightful Phoebe Green filled the one and only support slot, and she probably deserved the headline slot too. There's an eery kind of atmosphere throughout the opening set, with the pure power of Phoebe’s vocals filling the basement. While the teenage angst of her lyrics are relatable, at just 19 both she and her band ooze a kind of maturity which most older artist’s are lacking. 

 

There’s a Marika Hackman kind of feel to Phoebe’s sound, but it’s still entirely her own. Her performance was heartfelt and filled with personality, making it the kind of set which leaves you feeling a little inadequate. For me it was easily the best of the night’s two sets, Phoebe Green is without a doubt a name to keep an eye on.

 

(Photo - Ianthe Warlow)

 

By the time Pale Waves came to the stage the room was packed out with a surprisingly mixed crowd; all of which were squashed around the tiny stage of the basement desperate for a glimpse of the headliners. 

 

Kicking off with their latest single, Television Romance it was barely seconds before the crowd were bouncing and singing along; more and more people attempting to push their way to the front of the room to get a better view. Moving on through the set it became a little bit difficult to tell the difference between songs; that easy, catchy jangly pop sound stayed with each and every song, something which for me can become a little tiring. 

 

As much as I hate to admit it, those regular comments on how Pale Waves have become a product of Dirty Hit are almost confirmed when the band came to play some of their older songs. One of their earliest tracks, Heavenly was probably the only one in the set with a slightly different sound from the rest. There’s more of a funky feel to it, stepping away from those same-y jangly guitar sounds of both their current and upcoming releases.

 

(Photo - Ianthe Warlow)

 

The overall feel of Pale Waves’ half an hour set was just a little disappointing. Performance wise, everything is spot on; however there’s no personality to be seen at any point. Basic song intros and the odd “I love Manchester” are about as much as you get. It’s the kind of set which would work for a huge crowd of 1000+, but in the basement of Sound Control it felt impersonal; almost like watching a video of their live show. 

 

Pale Waves are a solid live band, they just need to give off more personality and break away from the manufactured feel that the majority of people get from them. 

 

 (Photo - Ianthe Warlow)

 

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