The Wave Pictures - Cabaret Voltaire, Sun 18 Oct 2009 (4 stars)

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The Wave Pictures - Cabaret Voltaire, Sun 18 Oct 2009

As might be expected from a band who are very much part of the collaborative/incestuous London alt.folk scene, a gig billed as The Wave Pictures with Stanley Brinks and Freschard in support becomes much more of a wholesome and endearingly ramshackle pile-in of a group show, with instrument-swapping aplenty. There’s even a touch of improvisation as oddball attention-whore Stanley Brinks (aka André of Herman Düne, erm, fame) chips in the odd clarinet solo which one senses wasn’t entirely planned. But there are some moments with that unplanned, organic feel which are truly beautiful, as when Gallic weirdo-waif Freschard’s backing vocals suddenly sing out alone in a quiet moment.

Mostly-frontman Franic has one of those rather plaintive indie boy voices that was made for singing about why girls won’t look at you – luckily for him, the humour and inventiveness of his lyrics, the curious tales told by his songs, and a likeable inter-song patter prevent his stage persona from veering into the pathetic. Very much evocative of a bohemian folkster world and peppered with references to Camden town and girls on unicycles at rooftop parties, it would be easy to find these songs rather too scene, but they have a sweetness and a sincerity that somehow dispels any provincial scorn the audience may have had lined up for these London kids. Add to that some satisfying vocal harmonies, a keen sense of craft in the songwriting, and a dash of vaguely Knopfleresque guitar and The Wave Pictures are most definitely a scene you’ll want to be part of.

www.myspace.com/thewavepictures

The Wave Pictures - If You Leave It Alone

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