Whilst social distancing has been difficult for almost everyone, it may well have been further damaging for those forced to stop as they were hitting the peaks of their respective industries.
Given the nature of playing live, and the time it takes to build up the necessary confidence it takes to gel with others, it’s likely that certain bands found lockdown particularly hard; the last thing they need as they’re building momentum is a forced lockdown stopping time for performing and practicing.
If you saw Caul’s show at The Sage last year then it’s likely you would seen, and been mesmerised by, the second support act of the evening; Pave the Jungle. Strong, confident, and prone to keeping their coats on, Pave (making one of their first shows that evening as a live outfit) showed off a level of proficiency far beyond their band time-line should permit; screaming at us with Jesus and Mary Chain screeching guitar effects and clever My Bloody Valentine pop melodies. They were a band who needed a lockdown like they needed a hole in the head.
And so, after the delays enforced by Covid, and the breaks being slammed onto their juggernaut, the question arises ‘what next for Pave?’
What, exactly, does a hot live band do when they can’t plug in and play?
Well as it happens, Pave would suggest you get into a recording studio and do your best to record with the intensity you would perform with if playing live. “Lockdown has been strange” confirms guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Rachael Whittle “and it really came at a bad time for us a band, but we knew where we wanted to go and we had a sound for the band, so recording and mixing the materials was much easier having played live and having performed the songs live”.
Released in October, and pre-empted with a few singles, Pave’s debut EP – The Hissing – is a tour de force of post punk/ alt rock intensity flavoured with intellect and wit. Produced with the support of Chris McManus at Blast Studios, The Hissing somehow manages to capture the sound, and the spirit, of a Pave live show; complete with thunderous breakdowns and back-of-the-throat vocals. You may not be able to see them play live for the minute, but this isn’t far off that experience; “Im happy with how the EP’s come out” confirms Whittle though admitting that the process may have taken more time than originally planned “yeah, the EP took a while but that’s partly as some of the songs came together as the old band were disbanding and Pave formed so it was important to think about performing the songs with other people.”
Hoping to plug in and do something for the launch of the EP (“we’ve got some ideas but it depends on availability and lockdowns I guess”) the plan is to get back to play live as soon as possible (“let’s hope it’s not too long’) and get build Pave’s live sound back up; though there’s already work on new songs for future EP’s and a desire to continue the momentum (“it felt with the last song that we recorded for the EP that we really got the sound we all want to make, and we can’t wait to get back to the studio).
We may not have them in the live setting, but The Hissing proves that they’re keeping up their strong momentum.