JAWS – Hare & Hounds, Birmingham (16th December 2015) – LIVE REVIEW

This JAWS article was written by Natalie Whitehouse, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Zoe Anderson.

A sea of white socks, docs, and checkered shirts greeted JAWS on Wednesday night – a sold out hometown show, with the guest list brimming over with family, friends, and barely acquaintances eager to see one of Birmingham’s bands of the moment.

Unique and festive walk-on song ‘Fairytale of New York’ filled the upstairs room at Kings Heath’s Hare and Hounds as JAWS took to the stage; rapturous applause, cheers and chants spilling from the mouths of the entire room.

Latest release ‘What We Haven’t Got Yet’ was the Birmingham band’s first offering of the evening; a heavily up tempo track complete with sing-along ‘woah-oh-oh-oh’s to whet the appetites of the crowd, chomping at the bit for their local band’s homecoming gig, and the last show of their two month tour to add an extra edge – as if the gig needed it.

From the off the room split in two halves: the front section creating a giant mosh pit, launching themselves at each other, arms aloft as JAWS gave a double offering from their ‘Milkshake’ EP in the form of ‘Stay In’ and ‘BreeZe,’ with crowd surfers and even a shoe being launched towards the stage.

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The second half of the room were happy to be toe tappers; stepping back from the chaos that was ensuing in front of them and taking in the phenomenally assured and, more importantly, passionate performance unfolding on stage.

Even a technical problem with a guitar wasn’t enough to knock the band off course: “I’ve not got any jokes worth this many people,” lead singer Connor grinned, taking the break in proceedings as a chance to introduce the rest of the band, as well as bassist Leon who had stepped in for the tour.

With all instruments back in working condition, JAWS played thrashing ‘Be Slowly’ track ‘Home,’ with lyrics fitting the occasion of returning back to their home city. Amidst the ongoing carnage, JAWS introduced new track ‘Cast’ to the set list, which by the end of the song had fans singing along as if they’d heard it a hundred times before.

JAWS  won anyone over on Wednesday evening; their music creates a pent up feeling – a release of pure adrenaline. Each song came with a spectacular drop; a stunning instrumental where the band gets to express their talents and the crowd, in turn, gets to lose their minds.

There was minimal downtime between each song; just a quiet “thank you,” or “cheers” from Connor, with a slightly longer speech near the end of the gig thanking everyone for coming despite the other gigs on in Birmingham that night – to which one person yelled a defiant “f*** Slaves!” and was met with cheers.

After airing another new track ‘Work It Out’ amongst chilled out ‘Friend Like You’ and more sinister song ‘Bad Company,’ JAWS finished their gig – with no encore, due to there being “no where to really go” – with two ‘Be Slowly’ favourites: ‘Surround You’ and ‘Gold,’ the entire room letting go one final time.

You would imagine that the next time JAWS grace a stage in Birmingham, it will be somewhere bigger than the Hare & Hound’s intimate venue. And it will be thoroughly deserved.

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