Rising stars Pale Waves entranced fans on their return to the iconic Leadmill stage with their set of fan favourites.

The Manchester-based dream pop quartet were propelled into the public sphere shortly after signing to Dirty Hit Records and touring with fellow Mancunians The 1975 throughout North America and Europe last year. The tour soon led to the growing popularity of the band, further cementing their cult following: a perfect foundation for the release of singles such as ‘Television Romance’ and ‘New Year’s Eve’ at the end of 2017.

The darkly iconic style of the group, coupled with their catchy synth sounds (reminiscent of The Cure) made it easy for them to be picked up by popular mainstream-media platforms. Placed 5th in the BBC’s Sound of 2018 was a promising start for the band while winning NME’s ‘Under the Radar’ award in February, set the band up for a tsunami of success in the coming months.

Opening with the infectious ‘Television Romance’, it was evident to see the sheer joy of faithful fans at the front as they jumped up-and-down continuing to do so throughout the set. Clouded by a thin layer of smoke and a variety of flashing lights, front-woman Heather Baron-Gracie looked almost ethereal – captivating and effortlessly cool as she graced Leadmill’s second-room stage. The band may have easily played Leadmill’s main room given their rising popularity and the demand for tickets – the show sold out long before the night got under way.

Continuing with songs from their debut EP, the crowd was well and truly alive as the punchy set continued. Possibly the most popular track of the night was fan favourite The Tide – the first track Heather and drummer Ciara Doran wrote when the group formed. The eager crowd were unstoppable as even the slower track ‘My Obsession’ was met with anticipatory screams when Baron-Gracie introduced it as the “sad song”.

‘There’s a Honey’, the first single released by the band, transformed the crowd into a sea of phone flashes, like deep-sea submarines searching for that perfect snap of the band – a keepsake for the night.

With several singles to date, and their debut EP ‘All the Things I Never Said‘ released last month, matched with this formidable live presence, there’s no doubt fans will be readily anticipating their debut album, expected to follow later this year.

Words by: Sahar Ghadirian

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