With their signature blurred guitar tones and bright dream rock sound JAWS returned to Liverpool in a kaleidoscopic crash of light and sound. Helped along the way by fellow brummies’ Ivory Wave and local Liverpool band Brothers of Mine, its quickly clear that Liverpool is glad to have them back.
With Brothers of Mine up first, a distinct scouse charm is quickly noticeable both in their music, and in the lead singer’s confidence on stage, despite the room still being largely empty. Their energy is undeniable as they tear through their set with the confidence of a band that has performed for years, and the people lucky enough to arrive in time for them were subject to huge indie rock hooks and bass tones that demanded to be danced to. With their relatable lyrics and smooth tongue in cheek delivery, Brothers of Mine are certainly a band worth a listen.
Up next was Ivory Wave, with the crowd filling out slightly more now, and warmed up by Brothers of Mine’s performance, their lead singer took no time to encourage the crowd to get closer together and seemed shocked at just how many people were there. This only lasted a moment though as with ‘Gallagher-esque’ swagger the singer launched into their first song, a melting pot of Britpop, electro and indie pop. Despite having clearly modelled himself on the former oasis front-man, singer George Johnson, provided an energetic and engaging performance, with his vocals taking pride of place amongst the groups rhythmic beats and powerful guitars. Thanking the audience throughout, the young Birmingham band seemed to relish the effect that their music had on the crowd, which they reciprocated with their energy on stage. Their announcement that they were to play their last song was met with boos, a significant achievement for a relatively new band.
A brief respite between acts was cut short as the venue plunged into darkness and erupted in cheers and shouts. It was time for JAWS.
The multiple prisms set on stage shortly before their arrival suddenly make their use clear, as the lights placed behind them create dancing and wobbling refractions on the fog rippling across the audience, the crowd hasn’t even stopped cheering when the band crash into their first song Driving At Night a darker, grungier song than most of JAWS’ set list, with the crunching guitar tone biting extra hard in its live version. Their huge light up JAWS sign behind them flashing on and off perfectly in time with their hard-hitting performance, adding an extra layer to their already impressive lighting. Without stopping, the band quickly rattle through a mixture of songs from their three album repertoire, lead singer Connor Schofield’s vocals seem to lend themselves perfectly to the mix of jangly yet blurred guitar that has made the Birmingham group so popular. The band are clearly comfortable within themselves and bounce around stage with energy and enthusiasm as the crowd sings back song after song, and opens up pit after pit filling the venue with an almost palpable excitement.
Despite having so many songs to choose from, JAWS clearly haven’t forgotten their roots and the set list is littered with older songs, which are received incredibly well from the audience. An audience, which wants the band to stay’s, shouts of “one more song!” don’t fall on deaf ears either, as the band take to the stage for an encore of fan favourites, Stay in, Be Slowly and Gold. These JAWS classics whip the crowd into a beer soaked frenzy as fans old and new scream the lyrics louder than the band themselves. The final chords ring out amongst thank yous from the band, but really it is the audience who should be thanking them.