Wave Pictures, Two Wounded Birds

Harry Milburn 04/06/0010

Quite how the Wave Pictures can't attract bigger audiences than they did here should rank alongside why England can't take penalties as one of life's great mysteries. I mean, for GodisintheTv's sake, they've been on the circuit for over a decade, are signed to Moshi Moshi records, have several near-unanimously acclaimed albums behind them, and have worked with the likes of Daniel Johnston. It's clear too, from tonight's set, that David Tattersall knows how to write some Smithsian lyrics, and the band know how to lay down a tune.

Nevertheless, a decidedly modest audience turned up here- though no one could have been left disappointed. Tattersall told some humorous Canterbury tales of Mexican stand-offs and the like, let audience members take to the drum kit, and wailed out favourites like 'I Love You Like A Madman', 'Canary Wharf' and 'Come On Daniel' from their critically acclaimed album 'If You Leave It Alone'. His guitar solos are, if a little indulgent, frequently special too; and the band were as tight as you'd expect given their time together.

As curious as the dearth of attendees was, they must by now be getting used to it; and we can only hope that their doughy-eyed support act Two Wounded Birds aren't headed for the same fate. They undoubtedly have the look for success- if the Wave Pictures lack of popularity has anything to do with their image (Tatersall's plummy accent and plain dress sense is more Neil Morrissey than Morrissey), then 'Two Wounded Birds' certainly have an advantage on their older counterparts in that respect. All boat shoes, stripy tops and turn-ups, the would-be NME poster boys and girl nestled into the Farmhouse quite perfectly, before beginning to take flight with their infectious Beach Boysy pop. And whilst they aren't from California (try Margate)- you wouldn't know to listen to them- its all sun-drenched close harmonies and catchy melodies, whilst the impressively named front man 'Johnny Danger' warbles in a voice not dissimilar to Damon Albarn's.

Musically, on the evidence of set-opener 'Keep Dreaming' and 'Take Me To The Beach', they are, at least to these slightly protruding ears, capable of writing songs just as catchy as anything the much-hyped Drums have managed to churn out. Indeed, a support slot with the Brooklyn-based band beckons, and one suspects it won't be long before 'Two Wounded Birds' receive a similar level of media attention or NME-hype. Let's hope they do; because one suspects, regrettably, that it's a little too late for the Wave Pictures.