Pale Waves // Swimming Girls // King Nun - o2 Ritz Manchester

Following the release of their new debut album My Mind Makes Noises, Manchester’s own Pale Waves make a return to their hometown to play their highly anticipated show at the O2 Ritz. With the generously sized venue sold out, the band have clearly come a long way from their days of supporting The 1975 on their 2017 North American tour, branching out with their own sound and alongside this, a multitude of dedicated listeners.

(Photography by Zack Hough)

Half the venue full as more excited fans continue to fill the room; the stage is graced with the presence of support band, London’s 4-piece King Nun. Confidently topless, frontman Theo stomps around the stage, providing a performance fuelled with passion and vivacity. As they perform one of their latest singles Heavenly She Comes, the crowd modestly dance along, with a group of more dedicated fans opening up pits in the middle of the floor.

Shortly followed by Bath’s female fronted Swimming Girls, it took the crowd no time to get up and dancing to their tunes. With a warmth and nostalgia to their 70s inspired electronic music, paired with the captivating vocals of lead singer Vanessa, the room was easily pleased by every song on the setlist. As their set came to a close, their latest single Beneath You was played. Although one of Swimming Girls' slower, more reserved songs, the band still supplied fans with an energetic performance that had the room engrossed, filling the venue with promise before Pale Waves take the stage.

(Photography by Zack Hough)

The wait is over; the stage lights dim and the crowd goes wild. With screams of admiration and hands immediately flailed up into the air before the band even walk onto the stage, the anticipation for performance is more than evident. The venue packed to the brim with fans of all ages and genders, tensions rose as they awaited the main act of then night.

Seconds feeling like minutes, Pale Waves finally make their entrance and the rooms atmosphere becomes somewhat electric. Unapologetically herself as always, frontwoman Heather Baron-Gracie greets the audience and kickstarts the night with their famous track, Television Romance. It takes no more than one second of the songs upbeat, synth heavy introduction to get the crowd going wild, throwing themselves around and chanting the lyrics back word for word.

Throughout the set, lead singer Heather maintains a close relationship with the audience, constantly interacting with her fans as she performs, dancing around the stage so comfortably as if it were her home. With Ciara Doran on drums, supplying powerful, upbeat rhythms, as well as Charles Wood on bass and guitarist Hugo Silvani, this Manchester quartet fit together seamlessly.

(Photography by Zack Hough)

With tracks such as Eighteen, which Baron-Gracie introduces as ‘’a song about being 18 and in love’’, the band belt out ever so relatable lyrics and explore the idea of what teenage relationships are truly like, as fans look up with admiration and understanding.

‘’Bring out those tears’’, Pale Waves’ frontwoman tells the crowd, as they begin to play a new song from their debut album titled She; a song that takes a slower, more melancholy approach, expressing a sense of vulnerability that is not often seen throughout this pop quartets discography.

Playing Manchester, the city where Pale Waves was born, a sense of pride and growth fills the room as Heather shouts ‘’It’s good to be back’’, going on to telling the crowd how this is where it all started for them. After dedicating their song The Tide to Manchester and their oldest fans, the room once again goes wild in an attempt to prove themselves the most dedicated of them all.

The band perform a perfect mix of older and newer songs, receiving the same animated response from the crowd regardless of what they play, proving their latest release to be a huge hit with older listeners, whilst helping them expand their fanbase at the same time.

Bringing the night to a close with There’s A Honey, the audience give it their all and come together in their efforts for one final song. With the band off the stage, the dynamic atmosphere is still present in the room and the very talented Pale Waves prove themselves as ones to watch in the music industry.

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