Wave Machines

Wave Machines

 Liverpool, England, GBR

We are Wave Machines - a 4-piece band from Liverpool whose music revels in art-pop riffs, disco funk, and life-affirming themes. 2009 has seen us take to Europe and release our debut album ' Wave If You're Really There', which led NME to say: ' Wave Machines are up there with 2009's finest'.


Wave Machines are a mercurial Merseyside four piece who create instinctive art-pop. Since forming in 2006, they have been interviewed and played by BBC Radio 1's Zane Lowe, Nick Grimshaw, Huw Stephens, Rob Da Bank, and Annie Mac and have toured all through the major UK festivals, including Glastonbury, Bestival as well playing abroad in USA, Spain, France, Norway, Holland, Belgium, Ireland and Dubai. They recently became the favourites of French tastemakers 'Collette' and returned in November to the Olympia, Paris to play alongside Bat For Lashes and Bad Lieutenant at the Les Inrocks festival.

The band:

The band’s origins can be traced back to the 4 members’ love for similar bands; Beta Band, Devo, The Notwist, Autechre were just some among many others. It was the mutual appreciation for a plethora of music, and the determination to create a sound that had an emergent property borne out of their favourite artists, that led Tim and Carl to lay the groundwork for the band.

Carl Brown: ‘Tim and myself had been in bands before for a while, but the ideas we were getting when we started to play between the two of us made us realise that there was more to performing than just jumping up on a stage, playing and leaving. Where’s the passion in that? We wanted to deliver music to people that made them sit up and take notice, music that people could dance to, music that made people take stock.’

Tim: ‘That’s when we got James (Walsh) involved – we had known him for ages, and we wanted him to be a part of it – even if it meant stopping him from going to move to the US!’
Carl: ‘Vidar (Norheim) was a different story – we saw him completely by accident drumming in a big-band, and the way he hit those drums was so effortless, so military-esque (Vidar used to play the drums whilst performing military service in Norway), we knew we had to pinch him and get him to play for us!’

Wave Machines saw 2007 as the year to get on the road with the material they had accumulated from the previous months. With over 70 gigs in that year, they quickly realised what worked in the band. With more gigs the following year, and interest from Radio 1 and XFM, the band started to get their music to even more potential fans.

2008 also the Wave Machines put out their first single, entitled ‘I Go I Go I Go’, on limited edition vinyl with the inimitable Chess Club Records, a singles label who discovered the talent of Mumford and Sons, Chief and Post War Years;

James Walsh: ‘Putting out ‘I Go I Go I Go’ on Chess Club was really special for us because it was really the first time that we had produced something that people could go back to time and time again. Along with performing, it really made us feel proud of what we had achieved.’

The Autumn of 2008 saw another release Chess Club – ‘The Greatest Escape We Ever Made’ was another sold out limited edition, and led to the band promote the single in the Elgar Rooms of the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Vidar Norheim: ‘That night was fantastic for us as we were able to play our music in the venue that had housed so much incredible music from so many musical periods. I guess the effect of using this regal venue to play our comparatively newborn music was really uplifting, and in a sense it echoed our desires to cast aside the status quo that can be attributed to so many bands.’

2009 saw the band take their performances abroad, with gigs in Paris and Barcelona, the latter of which they supported Ladyhawke. There was one trip however that stood out for the band – a trip that is still the highlight of their time as Wave Machines – their trip to Austin for SXSW.

Tim: ‘SXSW was nothing like any of us had experienced before – we had played a couple of relatively small UK festivals the year before, but we couldn’t quite believe the sheer size of SXSW! Everywhere we went, music was pouring from every available bar, street and restaurant for 4 solid nights. It wasn’t just the musical element of it either; everyone we met showed so much interest, and were so attentive to what we spoke about. We got to see a lot of Austin in those 4 days, thanks in no small part to the family we stayed with. When we weren’t plying our trade and speaking to label representatives, we were being shown the best places to eat and the best places to unwind – both very important to us! I think the fact that we had funded the trip entirely by ourselves had initially caused us some concern in case we didn’t come away with the experience we had hoped for, yet the music we listened to, the places we played and the people we met led us to realise that this was one of the best investments we had made as Wave Machines.’

Back in the UK, the band started to self-produce their debut record, and with the help of producer Lexxx (who produced Foals’ debut album), were able to release the record in June with Neapolitan Records, a label set up for the purpose of getting Wave Machines out to record stores across the co


I Go I Go I Go

Written By: Wave Machines

Co-codamol kick start my faltering heart,
Tape up my soul, before it falls apart,
Stop stop the sting, there’s blood on everything,
Come cover me up ‘cos the daylight burns my skin.

Roll out a big drum, find a place you can go,
Join in with this song, and beat it till blisters grow,
When everything’s done, sweep up all of your sighs,
Burn them one by one, 15 fires side by side.

You stay so I go.

Simple as a good time, I never made a good plan,
Take a taxi to the front line, and hopeful there I stand,
Eyes as cold as the sea, stare a thousand mile stare,
Like a lock and no key, hopeless as a prayer.

You stay so I go.

Like a lock, a lock and no key,
Eyes as cold and wide as the sea.

Keep The Lights On

Written By: Wave Machines

Hold your fingers up to the sun,
Trace the bones, feel the blood run.
Eyes shut red, don’t burn the day,
Say your name, tell yourself that everything is ok.

The night’s too long,
So when we sleep I keep the lights on.
Until the morning comes,
When we sleep I keep the lights on.

Clear your ground and hold your throat,
Unspeak all the words you ever spoke.
Leave and lead yourself astray,
Say your name, tell yourself that everything is ok.

The night’s too long,
So when we sleep I keep the lights on.
Until the morning comes,
When we sleep I keep the lights on.

If I get up I’ll hold your hand,
And anyone else I can I can.
If I go under understand,
And anyone else you can you can.

Punk Spirit

Written By: Wave Machines

I broke the neck on my guitar,
And told you how it’s going to be,
And later when you left the room,
I whispered “You can fucking die”,
And every time your back was turned,
I put a finger in the air,
And every time you turn around,
I hide it ‘cos I know it hurts.

Where’s my punk spirit?
When I need it?

The only the I’ve got faith in,
Is clinging onto the ground,
Now every time the planet spins,
I turn myself around,
So rolling out my best white flags,
I’ll find new ways to take my pride,
My body’s in a body bag,
I’m still alive.

Where’s my punk spirit?
When I need it?

The Greatest Escape We Ever Made

Written By: Wave Machines

Under Spanish skies we would drive on a vapour to the sea.
We would watch the night, losing height, push the sun into the trees,
Keep our hands held tight, knuckles white where the blood is s’posed to be,
Darkness bleeding starlight that would bring us to our knees.

I talked to you on telephones we made,
From tin cans we found lying in the shade,
A dream of being in hiding for a lifetime,
Was the greatest escape we ever made.

Spending every day on our backs blowing clouds across the sky,
Throwing time away ‘cos we can ‘cos we’re never going to die.
We could be stars.
Come out in the dark.

I talked to you on telephones we made,
From tin cans we found lying in the shade,
A dream of being in hiding for a lifetime,
Was the greatest escape we ever made.

Where did you go?
Come back to me,
Oh sweet desire and constancy,
And so the thing that makes us bleed,
Will beat its last,
Will cease to be.


June 2008: First release of 'I Go I Go I Go' on Limited Edition 7'' vinyl, on Chess Club Records;

September 2008: 'The Greatest Escape We Ever Made', released on LE 7'' vinyl by Chess Club Records;

April 2009: 'Keep The Lights On' - Single released on LE 7'' vinyl (Released with Neapolitan Recordings);

June 2009: 'I Go I Go I Go' - Single released on 7'' vinyl and download (Neapolitan);

June 2009: 'Wave If You're Really There' - Debut album released on Deluxe CD, download and exclusive download (Neapolitan);

August 2009: 'Punk Spirit' - single released as download and LE 7'' vinyl (Neapolitan).

Set List

SET LIST(Typically around 45mins):

1. You Say The Stupidest Things
2. The Greatest Escape We Ever Made
3. Carry Me Back To My Home
4. I Go I Go I Go
5. The Line
6. Wave If You're Really There
7. Keep The Lights On
8. Dead Houses
9. Punk Spirit

Encore: 10. Water Dries On Her Back