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Indie three-piece, the Wave Pictures, are tonight supported by two bands full of shouty ADHD schoolboys with guitars. The first lot, Oui Messy, could do with a dose of Ritalin and being sent to their bedroom, although we quite liked the fat drummer. Threatmantics liven things up with a smattering of the violin and a passable attempt at some actual harmonies above the din. But they still do their best to alienate the Cardiff crowd by asking whether Swansea are winning their play-off game (they’re not). The cardigan-wearing, rum-and-coke-sipping, indie-shmindie crowd watch on with bemusement.

The contrast between the supports and main draw underlines what a class act the Wave Pictures really are. Where others shout, they whisper. And what’s more, they don’t ever over-complicate things. The crowd are given a healthy dose of wry, charming, heart-wrenching lyrics, accompanied by soaring guitar solos and punchy basslines to hold it all together. Charming frontman, Dave Tattersall, is on exceptional form. It’s almost de rigueur to make a Morrissey comparison, but it’s warranted when his lyrics tell such vivid stories of life, love and suburban adolescence. In Friday Night in Loughborough he talks of having “a head like the Waltzers, bruises and ashtray clothes”, whilst Two Lemons One Lime from new album, Beer and the Breakers, stands out as another classic-in-the-making.

The Wave Pictures are prodigiously talented, free-forming and improvising all the time, giving the set a verve and a freshness which the crowd readily lap up. But they can also do gentle, tender intimacy – you could hear a pin drop when drummer Jonny Helm comes out from behind the kit to a capella Sleepy Eye. With no shortages of festival appearances over the summer – readers of 247 should catch the Wave Pictures while they can.

Words and photo: Ed Bridges