Live Review: Pale Waves – Albert Hall, Manchester 25/11/22

Tonight is a first visit for me at the historic Albert Hall in Manchester with this evening’s headline act Pale Waves. Hailing from Manchester themselves, having formed back there in 2014 (under original name Creek), the band have gone from strength to strength with this tour celebrating the release of their third album Unwanted. Made up of founding members Heather Baron-Gracie (lead vocalist) and Ciara Doran (drums), later joined by Hugo Silvani (guitarist) and Charlie Wood (bass), the third album followed a similar path as their second album ‘Who Am I?’ cementing the lean in genre from their original indie rock/pop sound to a more pop-punk feel.

With the crowd having been suitably warmed up by the tour support Abby Roberts and her dreamy pop sounds it’s time for Pale Waves to enter stage. There’s a slight delay with a few guitar technical difficulties, but eventually a distorted backing track version of ‘Lies’ plays around the venue before the band take to the stage and open the night with the full version. The setlist tonight treats fans to the live debuts of ‘You Don’t Own Me’ (from the ‘Who Am I?’ album) and ‘The Hard Way’.

It’s difficult to notice where new tracks meet old, since the devoted fans sing along with every track whether it’s classics such as ‘Television Romance’ and ‘Red’ or the titular track ‘Unwanted’, with the crowd matching the ‘so good’ chants throughout.

As the band start to play ‘She’s My Religion’ there’s a technical difficulty with Hugo having to leave the stage to fix his guitar so the band talk to the crowd for the time being. While on stage, a member of the crowd throws Heather and Ciara pride flags with Heather wearing hers and Ciara placing their flag over the drum kit with Heather joking that Charlie doesn’t have a flag. During this, Heather tells the crowd that they can’t not play ‘She’s My Religion’ as it’s a gay anthem and there are coloured hearts held aloft in the crowd.

For the Encore, the band play new tracks ‘The Hard Way’ and ‘Jealousy’. Before playing ‘The Hard Way’, Heather said to the crowd she wasn’t sure if she was going to play this or not but that if you know someone who is struggling out there shout to them. During this song only Heather and Hugo are on stage for the acoustic part with Ciara and Charlie later joining for the last section of the song.

Before playing ‘Jealousy’, the last song of the night, Heather says “Manchester you have been the very best, we are Pale Waves, you’ll always have our heart”. 

Set List


You’re So Vain

You Don’t Own Me

Television Romance


Fall to Pieces






There’s a Honey


She’s My Religion


The Hard Way


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