After the success of their first LP ‘Be Slowly’ in 2014 the release of ‘Simplicity’ had been long awaited on the indie scene. So much so that you could smell the anticipation on the sweaty kids that piled into Birmingham’s Rainbow Warehouse to get an earful of the new album live in their hometown finale set of the tour. There was glitter, elbows and hormones flying everywhere with what was one of the most energetic and youthful crowds I’ve ever saw.
I think what made this gig so special was not only JAWS themselves (obviously), but the impressive talent that supported them. As much as I am a big fan of supporting local upcoming talent I’ve been to far too many gigs that host a line-up of thoughtlessly booked support acts only to fill the room with noise before the main act. At this show, that was not the case. First up were The Lizards, a local fresh-faced psychedelic indie band resembling the likes of Wavves for all the right reasons. Their performance was very clean and it’s obvious the band consists of a talented group of lads. Their sound is well-defined and tasted deliciously different to the increasingly common ‘reproduced’ sound of many emerging indie bands trying to get noticed. At this point the crowd was still very much in the process of arriving whilst some early-birds were in the early ‘pint-in-hand-body-sway’ stage of the evening. This quickly became impossible as the flood of teens began to drown out any chance of a drink remaining un-spilled.
Next to make an appearance was Cosmo Pyke who had been JAWS’s fixed support for the whole tour. I hadn’t heard of these before but to say I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. After I moved past the impressive visual that was the singer’s head of dreads the dreamy low-fi sound provided an instant feel-good hit that the whole crowd was lapping up. The smooth sounds made for easy listening and the band were straight up cool.
After these notable support acts the crowd was more than warmed up for JAWS who continued the indie low-fi vibe specifically with new material such as ‘Just a Boy’ and ‘Right in Front of Me’ which brought a nice theme of consistency to the show. The lads also wisely threw in plenty of the much-loved tunes from Be Slowly which judging from the way the crowd reacted, was exactly what fans wanted. Although, what does confuse me about sets like this is the ‘pushpit’ that the whole crowd somehow telepathically agree to form at the exact same time despite no significant point of rhythm change in the song. I think fans being drunk, excited and having fun living in the moment is a beautiful thing. However, when there’s a bunch of sweaty 17 year old’s shoving you back so they can attempt to form a circle to ‘mosh’ in during the consistently chill song ‘17’ I do have to questions their motives. Despite the annoyance of being knocked off your feet by hyperactive teens the music did sound delicious. The new album works very well live, the vocals were effortless (in the best way) and the sound was very tidy. It’s obvious that the 2 years spent on the album went into making sure the songs could be played comfortably live as the lads seemed to perform them with ease despite the unavoidable nerves of a closing set on their own stomping ground.
Aside from the odd drunk young’un being a bit too rowdy for the scene the gig was pleasantly more than I had expected. I think that JAWS noticeably made an effort to deliver a good sound and a good vibe for a tour-closing set to be proud of. Having collectively such a good line-up of talent really made the show a pleasure for the ears from beginning to end and I would be more than inclined to catch The Lizards and Cosmo Pyke again. Until next time JAWS…