THE NINTH WAVE + PRIESTGATE + YOUTH SECTOR – THE HOPE & RUIN, BRIGHTON 9.10.21
Initially formed in 2014, The Ninth Wave have expanded to become Haydn Park-Patterson (vocals/guitar), Amilia Kidd (vocals/bass), Kyalo Searle-nbullu (keyboards/synths) and Calum Stewart (drums/synth). Last year they unveiled their limited edition pink vinyl six track EP ‘Happy Days!’ via Blood Records. Filled with neon synths and propulsive drum rolls; this is the sound of a band with swaggering confidence.
The band sit at the centre of an increasingly collaborative Glaswegian scene that features the likes of Lucia & The Best Boys and Walt Disco to name a few. Recorded in part at the suitably gothly titled Black Bay studio on the tiny island of Great Bernera in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, the ‘Happy Days!’ EP is a massive stylistic step forward produced with Faris Badwan of The Horrors and engineered and mixed by Max Hayes.
The Ninth Wave have acquired no shortage of famous admirers to date already – from the aforementioned Faris Badwan to Paramore’s Hayley Williams and fellow Glaswegians CHVRCHES. All of whom have shown great faith in the young Scottish band whether through invitations to play high-profile support slots or offers to help produce new material.
The Brighton & Hove News Music Team witnessed The Ninth Wave performing live on 10th May 2019 at The Walrus as part of The Great Escape new music festival. We reported:
“The final act of day 2 TGE for myself was the Glasgow based duo The Ninth Wave who is made up of the striking duo of Amelia Kidd and Haydn Park-Patterson. They are accompanied by a couple of mates (drums and mini keyboards) for their live work to create their modern sound. They have a new single ‘Used To Be Yours’ which is from the first part of their debut album ‘Infancy’, which you can buy on red vinyl and the second part, which will come out on blue vinyl will be with us at the end of May – details HERE. Their set was full of energy and the crowd enjoyed them, especially our photographer Sara”.
Back to tonight at The Hope & Ruin and the quartet take to the stage at 10pm to the sound of ‘Oh Happy Day’ by The Edwin Hawkins Singers blasting out of the speakers. Maybe this evening is going to be a religious experience for us all in this packed first floor concert room?
There’s all manner of tech gear in front of us tonight including Kyalo’s Meris Ottobit Jr bitcrusher pedal and his Arturia KeyStep Portable USB MIDI Keyboard Controller & Sequencer. Clearly the quartet are influenced by 80s new wave and goth pop music and have thus created their own unique identity. Their brooding synths, jagged guitars and female against male vocals carve this sound. Some have compared them to the likes of Pixies and The Cure, but there’s definitely a nod to The Human LeagueMk1 in there too.
During tonight’s thrilling performance Kyalo is rooted to his station with enough keys and pedals to keep him more than busy. Drummer Calum bashed away at his kit and drum pads all evening and even emerged from behind the unit to take over bass guitar duties on ‘Used To Be Yours’. Frontman Haydn was responsible for the guitar work and vocal duties, which he shared with Amilia, who was arguably the busiest all night, due to the fact that she was flitting between bass guitar, additional single drum and knob twiddling her keyboard. In fact on one occasion she was on the keys with her left hand and banging the drum with her right!
After the ‘Happy Day’ intro tape, the proficient four-piece launched into their very own 2020 ‘Happy Days!‘ song from the EP of the same name. They laid out their stall for the evening with this track and ten tracks of the same high quality followed.
Next up was a track culled from their 2019 album ‘Infancy’, this was ‘This Broken Design’, which saw Calum also on ‘keys and knobs’ like the aforementioned early Human League. Amilia was on bass and her keys and Kyalo took over control with his retro synth sound. Meanwhile, Haydn discards his jacket during the song and thus reveals his naked upper torso along with his tattoo that reads “Sometimes I forget that we’re supposed to be in love”. Kyalo’s outro to this track was awesome.
Haydn informed us that they would be performing some new songs for us this evening and the first of these was called ‘Hard Not To Hold You’, which he delivered with great expression atop of Amilia’s rumbly bass.
‘Used To Be Yours’ from their 2019 ‘Infancy’ album was up next. Calum took over on the bass having set up the drum program, whilst Amilia took lead vocals and waved her drumstick above the drum pads.
New single ‘Piece And Pound Coins’, swiftly followed with Calum back behind his drum set and adding backing vocals whilst Amilia adopted a metronomic stance as she continued with the drum pads, and Haydn was on vocal and guitar duty.
The second of a trio of unreleased material was expertly delivered to the packed room in the form of forthcoming single ‘What Makes You A Man’. This had an absolutely killer synth intro from Kyalo, and saw Amilia seductively delivering her lead vocals and at one stage deciding to come down to punter level and going on walkabout.
Song seven was ‘New Kind Of Ego’ which can be found on their 2018 ‘Never Crave Attention’ EP. This featured screeching keys at the start from Kyalo and led into decent drumming by Calum. The crowd clapped along to this number, which saw Haydn back on vocal duty, which he shared with Amilia.
The final unreleased tune of the night was ‘Pivotal’, which initially started at a slower pace and was vocally delivered by Haydn. The recent 2020 single ‘Everything Will Be Fine’ was unloaded next and featured awesome deep bass synth notes that I think were coming care of Kyalo. Meanwhile Amilia was rockin’ with her bass guitar.
The penultimate number was ‘I’m Only Going To Hurt You’, which can be found on the 2020 ‘Happy Days!’ EP and the finale was the 2021 single ‘Maybe You Didn’t Know’. For these last two compositions we have some fabulous deep synth notes from Kyalo and reminded me of a heavier version of The Human League circa the ‘Dare’ album. The latter of the two tracks started with a banging drum beat which was terrific. They concluded at 10:53pm and had a band and audience photo and that was our lot.
This was a very enjoyable set. It needed to be as the previous two bands had set the bar so high that The Ninth Wave simply had to match it.
The Ninth Wave setlist:
(Intro tape) ‘Oh Happy Day’ by The Edwin Hawkins Singers
‘Happy Days!’ (from 2020 ‘Happy Days!’ EP)
‘This Broken Design’ (from 2019 ‘Infancy’ album)
‘Hard Not To Hold You’ (unreleased)
‘Used To Be Yours’ (from 2019 ‘Infancy’ album)
‘Piece And Pound Coins’ (from 2021 ‘Piece And Pound Coins’ single)
‘What Makes You A Man’ (unreleased forthcoming single)
‘New Kind Of Ego’ (from 2018 ‘Never Crave Attention’ EP)
‘Everything Will Be Fine’ (from 2020 ‘Everything Will Be Fine’ single)
‘I’m Only Going To Hurt You’ (from 2020 ‘Happy Days!’ EP)
‘Maybe You Didn’t Know’ (from 2021 ‘Maybe You Didn’t Know’ single)
For more information on The Ninth Wave visit their website HERE.
The main support this evening came from Brighton based post punk quintet Youth Sector who state they are a “Brighton art-rock five-piece lovingly combining beeps with boops since 2018”.
The Brighton & Hove News Music Team first witnessed them playing live at The Prince Albert on 14th March 2019 and then we then reviewed them again when they kicked off the ‘Hidden Herd’ mini festival at Patterns on 13th July 2019, where we reported thus:
“Brighton based post punk quintet consisting of Nick Tompkins, Josh Doyle, Brad Moore, Karl Tomlin and Harvey Dent. Clearly these guys are influenced by Devo, Talking Heads, Gang Of Four, The Killers and Kaiser Chiefs. These synchronised tune-smiths certainly hit the ground running! Bang! And we’re off indeed. No warming up for this festival, although the soundman should have made Harvey’s synth louder to be honest. I feel as this act seriously has the potential to make it big and certainly set the bar very high, despite them only being together for 18 months. This afternoon was my second encounter with the band, having seen them live at The Prince Albert back in March. Today they informed me that they will be playing at The Western, located just down from Churchill Square in Brighton on 7th August where they will be supporting Demonstrations, with Hallan and Temple also playing, and I for one will be in attendance as they were fab!”.
Tonight the quintet consists of Nick Tompkins (lead vocals and guitar) Josh Doyle (bass/backing vocals) Brad Moore (lead guitar/backing vocals) Nick Smith (synth/backing vocals) and Steve Ray (drums). Their latest single which dropped on 23rd September is called ‘Self Exile’ which you can watch/stream/purchase HERE.
The band took to the stage at 9:03pm and from the very start their ASM Hydrasynth was put to great use. All band members had a smart look about them with their suits sporting tailors marking lines on them as if still not finished to sir’s individual requirements.
Their opener ‘Real Estate’ was very Devo-esque and the following number ‘Teeth’ was more than a nod or two to Talking Heads, with its quirky vibe, great bass and energetic beat. Lead vocalist Nick Tompkins was showing us some quirky moves too.
Here is a band with a decent post punk sound that is ready for now, but is remarkable that it doesn’t hail from the heady days of 1979. As with The Ninth Wave, these synchronised tune-smiths seriously have the potential to make it big.
Tune three was ‘Always Always Always’ and once again has a funky vibe à la Talking Heads. Josh Doyle was offering some duck stepping whilst playing his bass. Song four ‘Hands’, whizzed by and before long we were on to ‘No. 1 Bestseller’ which is a new composition. Josh’s bass playing on this was par excellence and reminded me of Pino Palladino’s playing on Gary Numan’s ‘I’ Assassin’ album from September 1982.
‘Self Exile’ was up next and is a jaunty swinging number which was extremely catchy. These lads work together as a tight unit, especially on ‘Any Different’ which saw frontman Nick Tompkins discard his guitar in favour of wiggling his hips whilst delivering his lyrics.
These guys feel their music, especially with the set finale ‘No Fanfare’, which certainly rocked and these guys (like The Ninth Wave) went down a storm. They finished enthralling us after 31 minutes, which was at 9:34pm.
Watch their YouTube channel HERE.
Youth Sector setlist:
‘Always Always Always’
‘No. 1 Bestseller’
The opening act for tonight are Priestgate who were raised in the sleepy town of Driffield in East Yorkshire. Their personnel consists of Rob Schofield (vocals), Bridie Stagg (drums), Connor Bingham (guitar), Isaac Ellis (guitar), and Kai Overton (bass). The nucleus of Priestgate came together after Ellis was recommended to the band by Schofield’s dad, who he works alongside building coffins as his 9-5 job. Soon after, Overton, a mental health worker for the local council, completed the line-up.
Formed as a battle-cry against the restlessness and mundanity of rural life, Priestgate began as a reaction to the sparse local music scene around them, which in turn has allowed them to craft and develop their own unique sound without the added pressure of conformity. Drawing comparisons to The Cure and The Maccabees, Priestgate have combined bright guitar-pop hooks with darker lyrical sensibilities, concocting their own angst-laden blend of the hypnotic and euphoric.
This week (5th October) Priestgate have unleashed their new single, which is called ‘Bedtime Story’, which you can watch/stream/purchase HERE. The track swiftly followed on from the release of ‘SUMM(AIR)’.
Our marathon music session at The Hope & Ruin commenced this evening at 8:27pm when Priestgate took to the stage. Of the three acts performing for us tonight, these were the only one’s I had yet to see playing live. Within seconds, we are aware that the lighting was going to be decent all night and as a result it would feel like a bigger concert than it actually was.
Priestgate were to perform just seven songs for us this evening during their all too brief 21 minute set, which I pointed out to the band at the end of the evening was just the right length for an appearance at The Great Escape new music festival in Brighton next May (Hint! Hint!). Well worth the trip down from Driffield I’d say!
The band dazzled us with their wall of noise on opener ‘Memory Loser’ and enigmatic frontman Rob Schofield tugged away at his vest, which gave up the ghost during the second of their numbers and was hurled into the crowd. I know who kept half of it (not me!), but wasn’t sure who had the other half. If this lot makes it big, then expect to find either piece on those selling sites or auction.
‘By The Door’ was song two and reminded me of a heavier version of ‘Space Age Love Song’ by A Flock Of Seagulls. ‘Eyes Closed For The Winter’ was up next and Rob’s vocal delivery sat somewhere between Brett Anderson from Suede and Jarvis Cocker from Pulp and he was as hypnotic as his famed music counter-parts. The audience simply couldn’t take their eyes off of Driffield’s soon to be star! He even knows how to throw a move or three and gyrates like Iggy Pop.
Track four was ‘Bedtime Story’ with its great drumming, which bore more than a resemblance to The Cure’s 1985 hit ‘In Between Days’. A song which always sounded as though it could have been recorded by New Order.
I haven’t actually mentioned it yet, but there was a sizable queue to get into the venue this evening. Maybe word is getting out about Priestgate? If it hasn’t then it should or will do!
Their final trio of numbers were ‘Credits’, ‘Lucifer’ and ‘Summ(air)’, which in parts reminded me bouncy numbers akin to The Horrors middle albums and a heavier version of Simple Minds, thus enough for the hairs on my arms to stand to attention in appreciation. As their set concluded at 8:48pm, I thought to myself that this lot is certainly going to take some beating! They are a band that I must see live again on more than one occasion! The Great Escape anyone?
‘By The Door’
‘Eyes Closed For The Winter’
Check out Priestgate’s Bandcamp page.
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