Interview: The Ninth Wave

On the soon to be released Happy Days! EP, Glasgow Noise-Pop band The Ninth Wave fronted by Haydn Park-Patterson and Amelia Kidd, tell us about their experiences across their hometown, their recent tours and the underlying importance of protecting venues.

When playing certain venues, are you conscious of bands that have graced its stage before? And does this affect how it feels to play at such venue?

Definitely! Sometimes it’s hard to judge how prestigious a venue is, especially if you’re playing outside your home city, so to see the type of acts that have played there before you really puts that into perspective. It almost feels like more of an achievement if you’re in a venue and you see old posters of your favourite band playing there back in the day. We were playing the Electric Ballroom in Camden with Yonaka last year and on the walls were old gig posters for bands like Joy Division / Talking Heads / The Clash, almost every inspirational band you could think of had played there at some point – that made the gig feel extra special to us because even though it’s a much smaller venue than the size they would play at the peak of their career, it’s almost like a rights of passage to play there. 

If you were to choose one venue, that you played at have visited to be protected. What would that venue be? What are your memories of ‘x’ venue?  And what is the most important aspect of the venue that you would protect?

We haven’t played there (yet!) but one venue in Glasgow to protect is The Barrowlands. I’ve seen all of my favourite gigs in there over the years, and there really isn’t a venue like it. After a fire in 1958 it was rebuilt and nothing has been changed since – the sprung dance floor makes it feel like the entire world is bouncing when the crowd goes mental for a band, and there’s such an amazing friendly atmosphere. And there’s even a tuk stall at the side of the dancefloor for all your crisp / juice needs : amazing.  

What are the attributes of these buildings that are significant? i.e graffiti on dressing room walls.

The best venues all feel like they’ve been lived in, like they’ve seen a lot of mental bands over the years. If that’s the wallpaper of band tags on the green room walls, or posters of the gig history over the years, there’s always reminders of how special the events were in the past.  

Music scenes: Do you feel that scenes are important for towns and cities to embrace and to remember? and how do you feel the legacy of starting out in a different city would have influenced your sound?

It’s definitely important to remember the city’s history of scenes, especially when listening to the music as it helps you understand it a lot better. As much as we adore Glasgow, it is pretty bleak at points and that certainly has an impact on the music we make. Maybe we would be making happy guitar music about how nice the sun is if we didn’t live in Glasgow – but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. The difference with Glasgow is, it has numerous different scenes that all seem to interlink one way or another. There’s this contagious drive to be the best version of yourself, and being surrounded by that really helps push a band forward.

Do you feel venues form communities and what venue symbolises this?

After a lot of larger gigs by Glasgow bands, the band will usually play a DJ set in The Priory afterwards – this gives the opportunity to really form a community between fans and the band as it is such a compact space. It’s where a lot of my friendships in the music scene were formed, as everybody there is a like minded individual all there for the same reasons.

What do you feel are the benefits and downsides of listing and protecting a music venue?

Listing a music venue would ultimately mean that big corporations wouldn’t be able to storm in and make it into a hotel / student flats, which I think is the most important factor. Without these venues, a city has no community and no culture, so would you even be able to call it a city at all?  

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