London-based trio The Wave Pictures – Jonny Helm (drums), Dave Tattersall (guitar and vocals) and Franic Rozycki (bass) – return with their brand new album Bamboo Diner in The Rain, due out on Moshi Moshi on 11 November. Following on from last year’s Billy Childishcollaboration Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon and their recent acoustic record A Season in Hull, Bamboo Diner in the Rain sees The Wave Pictures battling against the robot music apocalypse. The new album is a bluesy, boozy love letter to the guitar, filled with American Primitive instrumentals, John Lee Hooker chugs and Link Wray style minor-key surf music.
As songwriter and guitarist Dave Tattersall explains: ‘This album is set in the Bamboo Diner of my dreams, with rain beating on the windows and a jukebox stocked with blues. We wanted to make an album as open-heartedly great as Boogie With Canned Heat or Rory Gallagher by Rory Gallagher. We also love the American Primitives, John Fahey especially. What are The Wave Pictures but English Primitivists?
‘The Wave Pictures are strange: an indie rock band with absolutely no indie rock influences. For years, all we’ve listened to has been the classic blues and rock and roll of America in the 50s and 60s. And yet, we always disliked those retro acts who slavishly copy the look and the sound, the haircuts and the fonts of the past, but miss the unfettered spirit of the music they love. We have a style of our own already, the way your eyes have a colour. We don’t want to be a blues band. But the blues is there, at the invisible core of everything we do. We love it.
‘You see, these days the kids like their music to be made by machines, even when it pretends otherwise. The kids don’t seem to fear the machines (as I do, having been so profoundly affected at a young age by the first two Terminator movies) and so they happily switch on their computers and listen to robots singing. Well, one day those robots will rise up and kill us all. Listen instead, kids, to The Wave Pictures, the band that will someday soundtrack the resistance. We are the real thing, you know. The only reason the press haven’t noticed is that they are besotted with the machine music of robots, too. Ah, but no robot could swing the way Franic Rozycki swings his tugboat bass on a mighty blues-rock anthem such as Now I Want To Hoover My Brain Clean or Panama Hat, which will not sound right until it is heard crackling through a broken radio in a burned out basement after the robot apocalypse, a last little sign of human life on earth. The resistance starts here.
‘This is the most personal album I’ve made so far. In fact, that’s the whole idea of the band, to become more and more authentically ourselves on record. To grow inwards. Like everything on this dark and strange little album. It’s not robot music.’