Now that coronavirus restrictions are lifting, gigs are well and truly back ON. On this blustery night in Leeds, the O2 academy plays host to Pale Waves; an indie band with an intense gothic edge.
Original subheadliners, Hot Milk, had to pull out of a few dates on Dr’s orders so stepping into their shoes for a couple of shows are young three piece Beaux. Getting added to a bill last minute is both exhilarating and nerve wracking in equal amounts but tonight, Beaux have no fear in coming out to perform to the Leeds crowd. The trio, having each travelled from Wales, a spa in Hungary and halfway through University finals look a little overwhelmed at the start but warm up as the set continues. Furthermore, why not rip the bandage of anxiety off even more by playing a song they’ve only practiced together once? It’s clear to see the nerves and slight inexperience shine through, but generally Beaux put on a damn fine show.
The first three bangers of Change, Television Romance and Eighteen are a perfect opener for tonight’s Pale Waves show. Everyone in the room envious of lead singer Heather Baron Gracie’s ability to shred on guitar whilst rocking the most glamorous of knee high boots. “Leeds, this song will always be yours” HBG shouts before dropping into the poignant Tomorrow.
Some people may have said that PW are a female fronted copy of The 1975 to which Pale Waves tonight are proving that they’ve moved away from those doubters and are an incredible band in their own right. Fall To Pieces sounds absolutely huge but we’re unsure if it’s because the crowd isn’t used to gigs or because it’s a Thursday but the majority are more static. PW perform their asses off to a surprisingly weak response from a usually vibrant northern crowd- they are in good voice, just a little stiff in movement.
A chair appears at the front of the stage and HBG sits with an acoustic guitar to play a gorgeous rendition of Odd Ones Out, the audience are then treated to a brand new track, Jealousy. This has a more punk/guitar heavy sound than the other ethereal sounding tracks and the band are serving real Hole/Courtney Love vibes, although that might be because HBG is blonde now…
During Red, the crowd really get moving and there are the typical chants of “Yorkshire, Yorkshire” pre encore. She’s My Religion and There’s a Honey round off a really great show tonight, Pale Waves are proving that they’re a distinguished band who are constantly evolving. Yes, they’ll never lose their gothic edge but as a musical ensemble, they’re maturing and figuring out all the elements of their sound album by album and as a fan it’s pleasing to see.