The day after the release of the second part of their LP ‘Infancy’, The Ninth Wave played The Flapper. Despite loving the album, I was struggling to see how the synth-infused sounds and cleverly arranged music would transfer as effectively onto the stage. Expecting to be disappointed and for the songs to lose their meaning, I waited dubiously. Thankfully I was wrong. As the melancholy tones of Haydn (the front man) filled the room, the energy and atmosphere grew ten-fold.
The setlist was a work of art, weaving and controlling the energy and attitudes of the crowd, lifting it with upbeat tracks, interjected with the occasional slower message, making people consider the behaviours and politics of the world we’re living in. In starting with their latest single, ‘This Broken Design’, the genius of truly involving their fans right from the start was evidenced with the roars from the crowd and they had their audience captured. This was particularly impressive considering the lack of audience interaction throughout, albeit, I would assume, necessary.
The main thing that stood out to me was the evident bond between Haydn and Millie (bassist). The childhood friends had such a strong on-stage chemistry, highlighted by their interaction with each other, creating a relaxed energetic atmosphere, reciprocated by their crowd. This made it joyous to watch, despite the dark socio-political messages within their lyrics, which in themselves are beautifully contrasted with the upbeat music, reminiscent of The Smiths.
Their simple staging and very limited movement, combined with their 80s influences evident in both their sounds and dress sense, with Haydn sporting a blond mullet (a look they jokingly said they wanted everyone wearing), and the rest of their new-romantic image, they allowed their presence to fill the stage for them. For a band simply to allow their music, style and attitude to speak for them, they are born musicians, and make for an incredible live experience.
By Becca Harrison