I think it’s safe to say we have all felt that anxiety with anticipation the day you’re seeing some of your favourite musicians/bands live. This is exactly how I felt on the taxi ride to the BBC Scotland building in Glasgow for a very special evening of music. BBC Quay Sessions presenting The Wind + The Wave.
I first caught wind of these guys back in 2013 when they supported Stereophonics on their ‘Graffiti on the Train’ stadium tour, which was actually one of my first big stadium shows. Since that night I have been in love with their music and I distinctly remember thinking it was crazy that they, at the time, hardly had any music released – at least not in the UK anyway.
Fast forward 7 years, and a few online interactions and a guest list invitation to their Kelly Jones solo tour support later, The Wind + The Wave return to Scotland supporting Stereophonics on another stadium tour like they did all those years ago. This time was different however as I was lucky enough to get the chance to see them perform an intimate acoustic set for BBC Scotland’s Quay Sessions before they hopped across the Clyde to play the SSE Hydro.
A mix of interviews with host Roddy Hart and beautiful songs with touching and relatable stories accompanying them, this small set perhaps could have been the highlight of my whole evening. Hearing first hand accounts of how the band became friends with Kelly Jones and hearing what the songs meant to the artists themselves personally.
Before I go on to discuss the actual set list and the indescribably beautiful songs the duo performed, I feel it’s only right to mention that a theme of these songs & stories is the anxiety that both Dwight and Patty struggle with. This is something that really touched me as they were so willing to openly talk about this and how it related to their songs which, as a song writer I can confirm, is a very personal thing. To let a group of strangers into something so deeply personal, is really admirable and if you ask me, it’s a step in the right direction for discussing anxiety and other forms of mental health.
The night of music started with the song that made me fall in love with the music of The Wind + The Wave – ‘My Mama Said Be Careful Where You Lay Your Head’. In a total juxtaposition to the original full band version you will hear in the above video, the duo completely slowed the track down to fit with the stripped back nature of the chilled out, stripped back set. This version of the track almost brought out a new, more reflective feeling to the song with just an acoustic guitar and beautiful harmonies driving the song through to the end.
Following this was the title track of their debut album ‘From The Wreckage’. This stripped back version sounded to me like the song was always intended to be performed this way. I’m unsure if it is just the sheer familiarity Dwight and Patty will have with the song after playing it for 7+ years now, or if this was intelligently thought out but either way this version of this song was nothing short of beautiful.
‘My Mind is an Endless Sea’ was next. Although I already knew the track, it’s one I had never spent a lot of time listening to in comparison to some of the others on this list but since hearing this performance I haven’t had the song off! The hook ‘breathe it in, let it out, settle down. Why are you carryin’ all that mess around?’ has been stuck in my head ever since leaving the BBC building that day. Not since discovering the music of Frightened Rabbit has a song and its meaning resonated with me so strongly. Good job Patty & Dwight, this is now one of my favourite songs. This is the song that prompted me to tweet the below:
After a brief interview with Roddy where the relationship the band share with Stereophonics and Kelly Jones was discussed (as well as the hint of a colab album between the two), The Wind + The Wave seemingly decided this was the perfect time to hit me hard right in the feelings. Performing the track ‘Every Other Sunday Morning’ from their debut album, (perhaps one of their most emotionally powerful songs) the duo had the room in stunned silence as they sang about what I interoperate as a tough break-up song with a bit of heartbreak thrown in for good measure. It’s safe to say that, for the second article in a row, this writer had a lump in his throat.
The mood was lifted following this song with the admission by Dwight on behalf of Patty that she may or may not have a little thing for Redheads from Scotland. The brief anecdote segued perfectly into their song ‘The Redhead From Aberdeen’. A tale of longing for someone far away, the performance of this song was not far off from the track. In fact, had you added a bass drum you would have had a pretty accurate version of the original track. Once again, Dwight’s harmonies shone through in this performance, showing he has a real talented ear for good vocal work.
Next up was a song that was requested of the band to play. A song they covered a few years back for their ‘Covers One’ album, ‘Chasing Cars’ (originally by Snow Patrol) brought them great success as it became their most listened to song on Spotify. Now I may be biased as a huge fan of The Wind + The Wave and Patty’s vocals but I much prefer their version of this song, so being able to hear it live was something very special to me – a real treat.
Brand new song time! This was the second time they had ever performed the track ‘Rescue Me’ from their brand new 3-track EP of the same name. It was an incredible feeling for me to be in the second audience they had performed this track for. There’s not much else I can say about this other than the performance of this song, much like the rest of the songs in this set, was performed to stunning perfection. The chorus has a real catchy hook and the ‘ooh’s’ ending the chorus is a real cherry on top.
Sadly, we came to the end of the set as it was time for the band to get ready for their show with Stereophonics across the river in the SECC Hydro. The duo chose perhaps the perfect song to end their set with the title track to their sophomore album – ‘Happiness is not a Place’. The setting of this performance was definitely not one where I’d be able to sing along at the top of my lungs (that was later in the night during their set in the Hydro) but when they started performing this song to say I was tempted to would be an understatement. Very similar to the original track, once again Dwight and Patty nailed this one. A very uplifting end to an otherwise beautiful set.
Overall, this night was absolutely incredible and I feel honoured to have been selected to be there. I can’t wait to see what the duo have coming next as they write their 4th album. Let’s hope they come back to Scotland again soon. Until then, you can listen to them on Spotify below.