Immediate reflection on The Waeve’s set at Brudenell Club in Leeds leads to one conclusion. Graham Coxon is the best guitarist going, living or otherwise. His work on stage, on albums and elsewhere, is stunning. The Waeve and their self-titled debut cemented decades of key guitar playing that bled into songs and built them up, not detracting from them as some isolated articulation of sound. His work, alongside the incredible and consistent work of Rose Elinor Dougal makes for an incredible listening experience but an even better live one. Twelve tracks mark a stunning experience, loud and boisterous moments that strike through with the righteous momentum of two established artists hitting their stride with something new.
Hearing that come to life at the packed Brudenell Club is a delicate experience. Coxon and Dougal have established their album as a brooding and livid piece. They cement that feeling on the stage. Both share a range of duties in bringing their set of twelve tracks to life, with Coxon flying through a collection of essential tools. Flicks of a slider, toots of a saxophone and riffs on the guitar pile on and on as he takes vocal duties for a handful of songs too. Dougal marks the stage with double duty on two keyboards, a tambourine and a leading vocal that booms through the speakers. A backing band, whose names are lost to cheap pints and brain rot, are in fine form and should be commended had their names been written down by someone using their inside pocket as a pint holder.
Start at the end for The Waeve, with Something Pretty blasting the speakers, a loud and experienced track that shoots out with such an aggressive, gig-ending power. That powerful noise blasted half the crowd to the merch stall. Little chat to and from the audience, other than Coxon mouthing “thank you” to someone defining the early tracks as “incredible” makes for a gig that matches the personality and flavour of the self-titled album. Drowning and Undine make for a beautiful pairing, a lengthy double bill that flows neatly after Over and Over warms the crowd and band up in equal measure.
Make no mistake, The Waeve have offered up a super duo release that will last far longer than the memories of an excellent gig here. Brudenell Club is a fine and historic venue that marks an integral collection of euphoric performances, darting through the variations the band have offered up so far. Differences and changes are minor but The Waeve, put out there in all its glory, sounds surreal live compared to the album. Kill Me Again and Can I Call You are gorgeous highlights that precede a demanding, inevitable encore. The Waeve are one of the few bands going that can spark incredible greed among listeners. What next? Get another piece out there. It may have only been a month since the release of their first album, their star power shining blindingly and obviously on the Brudenell stage, but greedy inevitabilities must ask for more. After a live experience with The Waeve, it is hard to think of listening to anything else for some time after.