Ever since Junior told me I'd enjoy this lot I've been mugging up. Seemed like perfectly acceptable country/rock/blues for a Monday evening out, but I had low expectations.
Wow! I had to search for the exclamation mark on the keyboard I use it so rarely.
Learning new music live is a wonderful business. And so support act 1 - Vinegar get filed under 'interesting; look out for more' and support act 2 Snails can crawl slowly away.
Interesting observation from Junior. 'The bassist is too good for Snails (she was very good). If they had a rubbish bassist at least we'd applaud them all for having a go.'
And so to Wave Pictures. Los Lobos meet Dire Straits at a blues fest in honour of The Modern Lovers.
I want to applaud an excellent gig-by-numbers. This is how to do it:
Open with a big song. Either the best new one or a strong back catalogue number.
Introduce any other new songs in the first half of the set. This is also the place for audience banter. Sample banter:
Front-man: I wrote this next song during Blue Planet. I hate it but if I watch it with my girlfriend then she will watch The Big Bang Theory. I don't understand why everyone likes David Attenborough.
Audience: (Murmur of disapproval)
Front-man: See. Everyone likes David Attenborough. Do you all like him?
Front-man: The best place for an animal is on the end of my fork.
Audience: (Louder murmur of disapproval)
Front-man: Thing is, that was a quote from Quentin Crisp. So you're really booing me for being well read.
At about the half way stage leave shorter gaps between songs, stack up the well-known crowd favourites, tell everyone when the last one is about to happen and do two encore songs without going off between them and then go home.
Brief nod of respect to the sound crew who made the vocal mix for Wave Pictures clear enough for us to be able to sing along to tunes we had never heard before, by the time of the second chorus.
Singer/guitarist David Tattersall is quite a virtuoso - he channelled Mark Knoepfler and David Gilmour but his style is also very much his own. Franic Rozycki played a couple of lead lines on bass with some aplomb and drummer Jonny Helm was joined by a guest (and permanently grinning) percussionist who added much.
There's a gig on YouTube but it doesn't beat seeing them. Oxford tonight if you hurry.