Words & Photos by: Olivia Kenny
The Ninth Wave have been gaining the attention of fans up and down the country. Combining anthemic vocals, powerful, distorted synth lines and rumbling bass, they create a new genre, layering multiple sounds and infectious rhythms. The past year has seen the band launch multiple releases, and on Friday came the release of their debut album, Infancy, which has been backed up by a UK tour and on Thursday 14th November they came to Manchester for a sold-out show at Soup Kitchen; an underground venue which fits the quirky aesthetic of the band pretty well.
The Glasgow-born quartet saw support from another Glaswegian outfit. Opening the show were Walt Disco, who are similarly eccentric to the headline band. They captured the essence of new romanticism with sharp contour, frills and glitter, bringing a strong 80s atmosphere in both their appearance and music. Their music was fronted by profound vocals and backed by equally powerful and dynamic synth riffs, bringing an undeniable energy to the stage.
The crowd were well-prepared for The Ninth Wave by the time their set began. The band walked on stage and turned the heads of the crowd, frontman Haydn was wearing a top made from a reconstructed red kilt, along with bold make-up and Amelia darned red makeup covering one eye along with one white contact lens. The band combined bold looks with androgyny and their Scottish heritage, making a striking impression before the show even began.
The Ninth Wave opened with the first track off their new album, ‘This Broken Design’, featuring twinkling synth lines before Haydns dynamic vocal takes over the track. His strong vocals vibrated through the room while Amelia’s echoing backing vocals added another layer to the music. Their songs have strong 80s pop influences, with glistening synth, warm baselines and captivating vocals, while also combining the best parts of modern music and filled the room with a radiant energy. The vocals in their music is unique; Amelia and Haydn harmonising with one another and essentially use the voices as instruments.
The set continued with last years release ‘Sometimes The Silence Is Sweeter’, carrying on the enthusiasm which the night started with. Then ‘Half Pure’ was next and ‘Human Behaviour,’ showcasing some of the music which is featured on the new album (which was released at midnight after the gig). A favourite of mine, ‘Used To Be Yours’ saw Amelia take lead vocals, coming forward into the crowd and interacting with the audience while she sang, further dispersing charisma through the room. The crowd were dancing, singing along and loving every second of the dark alt-pop sound.
Closing the set was ‘Swallow Me,’ an older song from early 2018 but it still carries a refreshingly powerful energy which was present through the whole set. The song was explosive and Haydn was crowdsurfing while the whole band and audience alike fully immersed themselves in the music.Tags: live review / the ninth wave