A few natural preconceptions come with facing an album entitled ‘Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon’. The Wave Pictures’ eighth official full-length is a collaborative effort with legendary author, painter, poet, singer, pretty-much-anything-you-throw-at-him, Billy Childish, one of the London three-piece’s all-time heroes, and is, front to back, as bonkers as all of this suggests.
For the writing and recording process, the band used nothing but Childish’s own 1960s musical equipment, and this level of back-to-basics production has an overbearing impact on the sound of ‘Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon’. From ‘The Telephone’’s after-its-time guitar wails to ‘Fox Fur Pillow Case’’s intro bearing more than a little resemblance to The Kinks, this new approach to writing, recording and presenting a record for The Wave Pictures has challenged them into producing possibly their best work to date.
Great and big and burning.
‘Pea Green Coat’, the album’s first single, props up the 13-track record, and is one of a handful of tracks that Childish plays on as well as produces. Placing ‘Pea Green Coat’ at the album’s tail shows The Wave Pictures using every ounce of experience gained in their decade as a band to assemble all the album’s elements perfectly in order to make ‘Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon’ as great and big and burning as it is able to be.
For a band a decade and eight albums deep, working with the clearly influential Childish has given The Wave Pictures, fittingly, a sense of childlike wonder and adventure that seeps out of every element of the record, keeping things fresh when they could quite easily have become tired and worn.
Working with their all-time hero has given The Wave Pictures the inspiration and impetus to create a real early highlight of 2015, and although ‘Great Big Flamingo Burning Moon’ is perhaps done little favours by its February release date; woozy summer drives are when it’ll really find its feet.