Van Life: The Wave Pictures

The Wave Pictures have crafted their own special place in the UK’s music scene with a number of eloquent, beautifully crafted and utterly charming albums over the years alongside live shows that can go from howling laughter to pin-drop startling beauty in the beat of a heart.  Fresh from the release of their latest album, ‘Look Inside Your Heart‘ out now on Moshi Moshi, A-UK catches up with the band’s lead man Dave Tattersall,  currently burning tread on the autobahns of Germany, to see how life on the road is treating them and inquire what music they turn to when in need of inspiration, motivation or just plain titillation. 

So, where are you David and how’s it going?
The Wave Pictures are currently on a tour of Germany and before that we were driving around Spain, doing about six or seven hour drives every day. It’s mind-numbingly boring. Then you get really drunk and play your show, which is very exciting! So every day has a boring part and an exciting part. In Germany we eat currywurst mit pommes for lunch in the service station usually. In Spain we tended to pull off the highway and find a restaurant somewhere. But the driving is always more or less the same. Actually, the Germans drive pretty crazy on the autobahn. But it’s mind numbing being in the van. At the same time, it’s nice to be in your bubble floating through. I don’t know why.

Touring is good and it’s bad. I think a better idea would be for me to stay in London, and play once a week in a bar. And then people who want to see us could travel to London and watch the show. Rather than me travelling all over the place getting tired and fucked up and turning into an alcoholic just to play for people. But, alas, touring seems to be the only way to get to play music in front of people. It’s a strange life. Especially for me, who doesn’t like to travel.

I’m guessing the glovebox is full to the brim with CDs? Just to keep you sane…
We’ve started to listen to podcasts occasionally. Bret Easton Ellis’ podcast is pretty good. He talks a lot about cinema and interviews a lot of directors so I enjoy that. Most of the other podcasts I’ve ever heard were terrible. But mainly we listen to music. Here are some of our favourite albums to listen to in the van.

Van Morrison ‘Astral Weeks.’ This is a real band favourite. Once we drove all night through Wales and listened to it over and over again – that was the night when we all fell for the album hard.

Creedence Clearwater Revival ‘Cosmo’s Factory.’ This is good driving music. Something about the way it chugs along. It’s a pretty great album at any time, but it particularly suits the van.

Bruce Springsteen ‘Born In The USA.’ Sone of the best van music of all time. Every song is a hit single!

AC/DC ‘Let There Be Rock.’ This is the perfect example of the Vanda/Vanda/Young sound, and the best ever AC/DC album!

John Coltrane ‘My Favourite Things.’ Sometimes you want to drift off and listen to something a bit more dreamy that will take you out of it a bit.

Segovia ‘The Art Of Segovia.’ When you listen to Segovia play the guitar you realise you might as well give it up. His complete mastery of the instrument is such that it’s beyond technique, he’s using it to communicate any emotion under the sun. He’s a complete genius – a very over-used word, but he really is a real one. A real genius. Unbelievably beautiful music. He uses the guitar just as a means of creating emotions that can’t be expressed verbally. He’s beyond the beyond. You can put this on and watch the landscape roll past you.

Jeffrey Lewis ‘The Last Time I Took Acid I Went Insane.’ This keeps us connected to our New York roots! We travel now with Jeff’s former drummer, New Yorker Dave Beauchamp. The Wave Pictures never got accepted anywhere before we got accepted in New York. So it’s a special place to us and this album is the perfect album for us and for New York and for our life.

The Rolling Stones ‘Let It Bleed.’ Because it’s really very very good and it’s brilliant as well!

Thelonious Monk  ‘Brilliant Corners.’ There’s something about Monk, his brilliant sense of humour and his closed off riffs and funky strange melodies. He wanted to find a new angle on music, and he did, and he did it with humour. It’s graceful, but anti-grace-for-its-own-sake kind of music.

Chuck Berry ‘San Francisco Dues.’ Some one gave Chuck Berry a wah-wah pedal and he made a whole album of pure genius with it.

Tour Dates:

18 Jan – Edinburgh (UK) @ Summerhall
19 Jan – Glasgow (UK) @ CCA Saramago Cafe Bar 
20 Jan – Newcastle (UK) @ Cobalt Studios
21 Jan – Leeds (UK) @ Brudenell Social Club
24 Jan – Cambridge @ The Portland Arms
25 Jan – Nottingham @ The Boat Club
26 Jan – Brighton @ The Prince Albert (matinee and evening shows)
27 Jan – Guildford (UK) @ The Boiler Room 
28 Jan – Oxford (UK) @ The Jericho Tavern
29 Jan – Bristol (UK) @ Exchange
30 Jan – Birmingham (UK) @ Hare and Hounds
31 Jan – Chester (UK) @ Telford’s Warehouse
1 Feb – Manchester (UK) @ Soup Kitchen
2 Feb – Cardiff (UK) @ Clwb Ifor Bach
21 Feb – London (UK) @ Koko


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