Riding The Ninth Wave ⋆⋆⋆⋆

by Gemma Murphy

“It’s like looking for your mum and dad at your school show so you don’t fuck up” says an endearing Hayden Park-Patterson as he described what it was like performing for a seated audience. However, The Ninth Wave singer and guitarist is selling himself short, as this is no school nativity, this is the first night of two sold out shows at Glasgow’s Òran Mór. 

The four-piece band from Glasgow consisting of childhood friends Amelia Kidd and Haydn Park-Patterson, alongside members Kyalo Searle-Mbullu and Calum Stewart were joined on stage by what looked like, from the audience, an army of musicians. To the left of Haydn stood a trumpeter, saxophonist, violinist and a second drummer. 

The group kicked off their set with their song ‘And the Weight’. “Here I am, here I am again” croons Haydn, in a very fitting choice for opening song, and by the end of the second chorus I am chanting back “I don’t want this to end”.  With Haydn dressed in some sort of a kilt and Amelia in tartan herself I can only presume this was a nod to playing in the home city. 

Followed on by their most recent release ‘Piece and Pound Coins’. This a rather personal one for Glasgow as the song was written about Gary Watson, a close friend and front man of fellow Glasgow band The Lapelles, who unfortunately passed away in 2016. In an Instagram post Haydn wrote: “I like to think that he’d like it. This song is for Gary Watson. Love ye forever.” 

The band played mostly their new songs, which will be on their second album Heavy Like A Headache set to be released March 11th 2022.  Although the audience were unable to sing back Kidd and Park-Patterson never lost the crowd for a minute, even as Amelia joked that the audience were thinking, “Just play ‘New Kind of Ego’.

However, I think the gig being seated allowed for the audience to fully appreciate everything, including the songs they didn’t know, because they weren’t distracted with how sore their backs were from standing up all night. The hypnotic synths, mixed with the bands haunting harmonies and gloomy vocals felt right in a church environment. The moody lighting shining down on them from the beautiful ceiling mural created by Alasdair Gray and resulted in an almost religious experience. Everything was just art and scratched an itch in my brain that left me more than just satisfied but somewhat emotional.

After the Glasgow tradition of hollering bands back on stage for “one more tune” the band played their greatly anticipated song ‘A New Kind of Ego’ and for the first time in the night every rose out their seats, one audience member even getting so excited that was politely asked to get down from the chair he was standing on. The melodic drums, loud vocals and build of the song was the perfect final note. 

As the band neared the end of their set the words “I don’t want this to end” were more than just lyrics I was singing back, but they were true. This was my first gig, first whiff of live music in over 2 years and I don’t think it could have been a better welcome back.