There can be no more than 20 people here. In the dark tunnels beneath a railway bridge in Shoreditch that comprise Village Underground, G R E A T W A V E S are ready to be caught on film performing a short live set. It seems very few got the memo, but the emptiness of the room only adds to the magic.
They open with Are Calling, setting the relaxed tone of the rest of the set with its steady, almost meditative synthesized percussion ticking like a clock, rocking the track slowly back and forth as if it rides on ocean waves.
Before they started there was the feeling that the stage manager had gone a little overboard on the smoke, as a thick fog drenched the tunnels. But as the lights (the spectacular, bold, gliding lights) lit up the stage the smoke served to immerse the band in rich colour. For much of the set their faces are invisible, cloaked beneath the transitioning lights, which fade between colours and occasionally pulsate on and off, blinking with the rhythm of the music.
G R E A T W A V E S’ sound is gentle and warm, with low, steady and passionate vocals, sweeping electric organ-style chords and high-pitched guitar lines that dance above the depths. It’s just a three-track set, but they play it twice (for this one is for the cameras), much to the delight of the small gathering of people here. They could hear it a thousand times.
Between the space, the colour and the sounds, it becomes impossible not to lose yourself in the tranquility of the moment. A million miles from the rough and tumble of your average gig, this night brought calm.